A high quality field of New Zealand’s best sprinters will be on hand for the G1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham on Saturday.
Ruakaka trainers Donna and Dean Logan bring a two-pronged attack to the race with Durham Town (Falkirk) and Sir Lovesalot (Darci Brahma).
Durham Town went into the 2012 Telegraph as a leading contender only to lose jockey Vinnie Colgan in the home straight when checked by eventual runner-up Atomic Force. “We’re hoping Durham Town has all the bad luck out of his system by now,” Donna Logan said. “At least the Aussie isn’t in the race this year and, with his midfield barrier draw, probably won’t get squashed against the rail like last time.
“He has done really well since the Railway and we couldn’t be happier with him at this stage and hope he will be there when the business end of the race arrives.”
Sir Lovesalot stepped out in open company for the first time when a winner at Te Rapa in December. “It was his first big test and he passed it with flying colours,” said Logan. “We have always had plenty of time for him and he is now starting to show his true ability.
“His work has been faultless as well over the past few weeks so I really couldn’t split the pair except for the fact Sir Lovesalot has drawn a wide barrier. Mind you, if they get any rain the wide draw may be a blessing in disguise.”
Six of the first seven home in the G1 Railway Stakes at Ellerslie will line up at Trentham with only the winner that day – Fleur de Lune – missing. However, the Trentham feature has been strengthened by the inclusion of G1 Captain Cook Stakes winner Final Touch (Kashani) and the exciting Xanadu (Elusive City).
Xanadu hasn’t been sighted since being placed in each of the three G1 features at the 2012 Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, but Ken Kelso’s mare has been primed for the task with two exhibition gallops at Tauranga in recent weeks.
Last year’s winner Guiseppina (Johar) has also drawn in midfield and that will suit her racing pattern. In the 2012 contest she settled near last and came with a paralysing late burst which her connections will hope she can produce again this year.
Railway runner-up Jetset Lad (Elusive City) looks another of the main dangers along with Burgundy (Redoute’s Choice).