Kiwi star Volkstok’n’barrell confirmed for Caulfield Cup on Saturday

Kiwi star Volkstok’n’barrell will run in the Caulfield Cup on Saturday after pleasing trainer Donna Logan in a track gallop on Tuesday morning.

Craig Newitt will ride Volkstok’n’barrell in the cup, which also features fellow Kiwis Mongolian Khan, Who Shot Thebarman,  Lucia Valentina and Rising Romance after the field was confirmed on Tuesday.

Logan rang all Volkstok’n’barrell’s owners after his gallop on the Caulfield course proper.

“I spoke to all the clients and he’s going to take his place. The horse is physically well and we’re all happy.”

Volkstok’n’barrell has failed to place in his four runs in Melbourne this spring, the latest in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington where he raced on the pace.

“The lead-up has left a little to be desired and on occasions it hasn’t been any fault of his own,” Logan, who trains in partnership with Chris Gibbs, said.  “We’d like to see him ridden 5th, 6th or 7th to give him his best chance.”

That responsibility will be left to Newitt, who replaces Craig Williams as the 4-year-old’s rider. Williams will ride the Japanese raider Hokko Brave.

“Craig [Newitt] gave him a gallop this morning with one of John Sargent’s horses and he said our bloke felt enormous, he was really rapt with him,” Logan said.

Mongolian Khan remained a $4.80 favourite with Australian bookmakers and the New Zealand TAB after the field was confirmed.

The Murray Baker-Andrew Forsman trained galloper ran an outstanding third in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on Saturday and looks primed for the 2400m test of the cup.

Lucia Valentina, who is owned by Wellingtonian Lib Petagna, also confirmed her place in the field after a solid gallop with race rival Set Square at Caulfield on Tuesday morning.

“She went out with Set Square and it was good enough work for her to run on Saturday,” trainer Kris Lees said. “She ran well last year and we are confident she will run a big race again.”

Lucia Valentina finished third in last year’s Caulfield Cup. The TAB had her and Volkstok’n’barrell as $26 chances on Tuesday morning.

“Protectionist also had a good look around this morning and he is on track for the Caulfield Cup and to defend his Melbourne Cup [crown],” Lees said.

Four northern hemisphere visitors – the English pair of Snow Sky and Trip To Paris and Japanese stayers Fame Games and Hokko Brave – made the final field. Another English galloper, Quest For More, is the first emergency.

Caulfield Cup final field, before barrier draw, with NZ TAB prices

1 7×080 Protectionist, Brenton Avdulla, 58kg $31

2 x116x Snow Sky, Damien Oliver, 58 $15

3 01x2x Fame Game, Zac Purton, 57 $9

4 x7x92 Our Ivanhowe, Ben Melham, 56 $21

5 5x36x Hokko Brave, Craig Williams, 55.5 $11

6 51×74 Mongolian Khan, Opie Bosson, 55 $4.80

7 12135 Trip To Paris, Tommy Berry, 55 $31

8 2×758 Who Shot Thebarman, Blake Shinn, 54.5 $17

9 1×075 Grand Marshal, Jim Cassidy, 53.5 $41

10 x1322 Royal Descent, Glen Boss, 53.5 $15

11 x7059 Volkstok’n’barrell, Craig Newitt, 53.5 $26

12 2×072 Hauraki, James McDonald, 53.5 $9

13 6×648 Lucia Valentina, Dwayne Dunn, 53.5 $26

14 2×620 Rising Romance, Damian Lane, 53.5 $13

15 x0000 Magicool, James Winks, 52 $101

16 1×980 Gust Of Wind, Chad Schofield, 51 $17

17 0x253 Set Square, Kerrin McEvoy, 51 $8

18 x1112 Magnapal, Dean Yendall, 50 $41

Emergencies

19 2112x Quest For More, Tommy Berry, 53.5 $51

20 x0131 Complacent, 53 $17

21 0x339 Dibayani, 53 $61

22 43121 Magic Hurricane, 52.5 $41

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