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Logan sees no need for haste

2022 runner-up off to a sluggish start but Aftermath may launch Kiwi trainer’s season

After a breakout season in 2022, Donna Logan has not quite sprung out of the starting blocks this term.

The Kiwi trainer nearly rewrote Singapore history at her fifth Kranji season, but the crowning of the Republic’s first woman champion was not to be for that year.

Following a riveting two-horse race in the last quarter, Tim Fitzsimmons eventually outslogged the Ruakaka horsewoman in the last month or so.

But unlike 2022, when Logan got on the front foot from the get-go with five winners in the month of January, her win-meter for 2023 is still set at zero.

To Logan, though, the engine has not stalled, but just warming up.

“My mother always told me: Good things come to those who wait,” she said.

“We’ve had a quiet start for sure because the horses had a big rest.

“There is no need to rush, we’ll just pace ourselves. Besides, we still have a very long year ahead.

“But I’m still very happy with the way the horses have been running (five placings from 15 runners).”

With 2020 champion Michael Clements the current lamplighter on five wins, Logan and four other winless trainers (Jason Ong, Jerome Tan, James Peters and Shane Baertschiger) are certainly not lagging too far behind.

But Logan is aware she should get on the board sooner rather than later if she does not want to be on the backfoot.

Though the 138-Kranji race winner fields only five horses on Saturday, she is still banking on her first runner, Aftermath in Race 3, the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race (1,200m), to get her off to a flier.

The Spirit Of Boom five-year-old recorded his only victory from 21 Kranji starts over the same course and distance but, to Logan, the recent form was the key factor.

“I’m very happy with the team I’m sending this week. There are some nice horses and not so nice horses, good jockeys to ride them and they are well and fit,” she said.

“Aftermath is probably my best chance of the day. He’s in the 1,200m on turf which will suit him, and we’ve got (Manoel) Nunes on.

“It was a pretty strong run at his first-up run from a holiday. He was wide without cover and still ran second to Ima, who ran a nice third in a much stronger race last week.”

Logan will also unveil a newcomer, Knippenberg, an unraced I Am Invincible three-year-old, for the Fortuna NZ Racing Stable. Ronnie Stewart is the pilot.

After a barrier trial third, Logan has picked the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1,200m for his Kranji launch.

“Knippenberg is still learning. He’s relatively new and has a nice enough draw (barrier No. 3) for a first run,” she said.

“This will be a good educational run and a good gauge where he is at. We can only live and hope he turns into a 3YO candidate.”

While Logan is still on the starting grid, her two apprentices have, ironically, done better than her.

Jerlyn Seow has ridden two winners while Jamil Sarwi opened his 2023 account in style with the Jason Lim-trained Sky Eye on Monday, capturing his first $100,000 race in the Kranji Stakes A event over 1,200m, the highlight of the Chinese New Year programme.

Logan revealed that her lads’ good results did not come by fluke, but with the help of a legendary pair of hands – former Australian champion jockey Mick Dittman, now Lim’s Stable’s racing manager.

“I’m super proud of Jamil and Jerlyn. They’ve both had a nice start to the season,” she said.

“I actually approached Mick and asked him if he could give some tutoring to my apprentices.

“I was a jockey, too, but I would be a pinhead on the board next to a world-class jockey like Mick.

“Mick goes through their rides on Monday and points out what they did right or wrong.”