Logan believes in her King and princelings
Kiwi trainer banks on King Arthur for a first Group win, and juvenile duo for next star
Donna Logan cannot wait to send out her small team of the old and the new on Saturday.
The old hands are spearheaded by stable stalwart King Arthur making a third bid at a first silverware in the $110,000 Group 3 Kranji Sprint (1,200m).
The next generation is made up of a pair of unraced two-year-olds in the $75,000 Zac Spirit 2014 & 2015 Stakes Restricted Maiden (1,200m), Artillery and Santino. Both are raced by Logan’s leviathan supporter, Te Akau Racing.
The Kiwi trainer also saddles Charminton, also for Te Akau, and the Falcon Racing pair of Wednesday and Gamely in lesser races.
But the adrenaline rush will no doubt go up a notch in the day’s highlight and two-year-old race.
Logan has always held King Arthur in high esteem, but the Fortuna NZ Racing-owned five-year-old ran below par at his last start in a Class 1 (1,200m) race on May 20.
After a slow start, King Arthur had his job cut out when landing in a more rearward spot than usual.
The son of I Am Invincible ran eighth to Sky Eye (also contesting the Kranji Sprint), three lengths behind.
Logan said it was best to forget he ran that day, when he was ridden for the first time by top visiting Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra.
“The weight (59kg) told on him and he missed the kick. He’s never missed the kick before,” she said.
“He hasn’t had a low weight (55.5kg in the Kranji Sprint) for a while. He’s also drawn low (No. 3).
“The field is not overly strong. He deserves a Group win.”
Logan is reinstating the rider who guided King Arthur to the last four of his nine wins, her former apprentice jockey Yusoff Fadzli.
The 2022 Singapore champion apprentice jockey is also booked on Santino and Charminton while Simon Kok rides Artillery.
They are both safe pairs of hands but Logan remains wary of the unpredictable nature of “babies” tasting action for the first time.
Trials are good simulations but nothing can ever prepare them for the real racing argy-bargy.
“There are so many unknowns with young horses lacking in experience. We have to be very careful during the race,” she said.
“A horse thrown in at the deep end just off a trial is not ideal.
“It’s not necessarily the best horse who wins, but it’s the horse who copes mentally the best, who gets the best run.”
The two Te Akau Stable youngsters ran in only one barrier trial each, and won.
Logan could not split the pair, even if Artillery fetched a much higher six-figure price tag at the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs In Training sale in October 2022.
She forked out A$100,000 ($88,000) for the Smart Missile two-year-old, and A$30,000 for Santino, a son of Santos, at the Inglis Ready2Race sale in Sydney two weeks earlier.
“I’m happy with the way both trialled. Both have shown me they have ability, equally,” she said.
“They had a short break to freshen up, mentally and physically.
“Both have drawn mid-range in six (Artillery) and seven (Santino).
“Santino is more on pace whereas Artillery will come off the speed. But I reckon that, in time, Santino will get over more ground.”
Regardless of their performances, Logan will likely benchmark them against the more precocious two-year-old she bought at the same time – Rhett Butler.
The son of Charm Spirit scored on debut on April 29, then ran fifth to stablemate Knippenberg in a Novice race three weeks later.
“Rhett Butler’s a strong solid horse who took everything in his stride, he was ready to go,” she said.
The trio will eventually converge towards the Group 3 Singapore Golden Horseshoe (1,200m), the juvenile feature which is making its comeback after a two-year break due to Covid-19, on July 23.