Kiwi raider Volkstok’N’Barrell debuted to Australia with an impressive win in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) a fortnight ago and has reportedly improved further ahead of Saturday’s major Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.
Jumping from the gates well, leading jockey Craig Williams settled the three-year-old in prime position on the heels of the race’s early leaders; receiving an ideal run in transit before locking in a fierce sprint battle with Preferment in the final straight; poking clear to post a maiden win at the highest level.
Having returned to New Zealand to tend to her stable following the Rosehill Guineas success, trainer Donna Logan told AAP Williams had given a glowing report of the Lord Tavistock gelding’s recent work and is confident barrier 5 will prove the ideal alley in the 2015 Australian Derby.
“Craig called to say the barrier was perfect and he was very happy with the horse’s gallop,” Logan said.
“The barrier gives him options if it happens to be no good on the inside he can get away from the fence.”
Yet to finish outside the places over his nine career starts so far, Volkstok’N’Barrell ran third in a Ruakaka maiden over 1200m on debut before posting back-to-back victories in the Split Bar & Restaurant Maiden (1400m) and Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m).
Returning to racing in December in similarly impressive form, the gelding out of Volkster won a minor over 1300m first-up before securing consecutive win in the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m) and Listed Karaka Mile (1600m); progressing to third in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and a close second to fellow Australian Derby acceptor Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on February 28th.
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