Istataba and Countofmontecristo might not have been in the trainer Donna Logan’s stable for long, but the Kiwi conditioner was more than happy with both her charges in the $1 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) next Saturday.
Istataba, in particular, had only been under the care of Logan since 30 September – after being transferred from her previous trainer Michael Clements – a week after the mare’s last run where she finished second to Rambo in a Class 3 race (1600m).
The Argentinean-bred daughter of Treasure Beach arrived fit and in good form, so Logan had plenty to work with, albeit with only six weeks to prepare for the biggest staying race on the Singapore calendar.
“She’s (Istataba) progressing really nicely,” said Logan on Thursday.
“I haven’t had her long enough to really know her, but she had a trial the other day (finished sixth to Maxima in trial no 3 on 31 October) and she seems to be in good order.
“She has been running well over 1600m, which is in her favour, and I think she is an out-and-out stayer. That’s her forte, so the Gold Cup’s distance is in her favour, as is the lightweight (50kgs).
“We have booked (jockey) Andrew Adkins from Sydney to ride but we’re waiting for approval (from the Singapore Turf Club).
“I don’t know him (Adkins) well myself, but he can obviously ride light and comes highly recommended.
“I have a lot of time for her (Istataba). She has shown she can be more than competitive at Group level and like I said, with no weight over 2000m, she has to be respected.”
Logan also had a lot of time for Countofmontecristo. The 10-year-old son of Echoes Of Heaven has had one run for her in a Class 2 race (1400m) on 14 October when he ran fifth to Dream Alliance.
And like Istataba, Logan suggested that Countofmontecristo – who carried the top impost of 57kgs and finished third to Mr Clint in the 2019 Singapore Gold Cup – deserves a spot in the final field.
“He (Countofmontecristo) didn’t have the best preparation, but I think he is looking for 2000m,” she said.
“And 50kgs for a horse like him is nothing. I haven’t booked a jockey yet, but with that weight over this trip, he could show his best again.
“He’s only had one start for me but (jockey) Harry (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) said that 1400m was too short for him and I thought his effort was good.
“He’s working well and there is nothing to suggest that he doesn’t deserve a run.”
Before the final field for the third Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series is announced next week, Logan has five runners this Saturday to keep her busy and all looked to have some hope on best form.
Yet, Logan knows a little bit of Lady’s Luck may be needed to yield some good results.
“None of mine looks to jump off the page to win but all of them will be very competitive if they have some luck in the races,” she said.
“Axel (x Darci Brahma) has finally got a run (in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1400m) after missing out in recent weeks. And (jockey) (Manoel) Nunes was keen to ride, so that’s a good sign.
“His (Axel) best stats were over 1400m and though I would have liked him on the Long Course, he is fresh, in good form and had a good trial the other week (won trial no 2 on 12 October in the time of 1 min 0.82secs).
“Montana Flash (x Star Turn) and Maximum Control (x Written Tycoon) are in the other Division ($50,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1400m) and to be honest, both look to be really strong races.
“But Montana Flash had good stats on the Short Course – albeit without winning – and I think with luck, he is definitely a top three chance.
“Reignite (x Sebring) is honest too, but he’s found a good field (in the $50,000 Class 4 race over 1200m) so he will need things to go his way.”
The improver in the Logan camp may be the maiden Roger Roger who – after two unplaced runs – will be having his first start in open company in the $30,000 Class 5 race (1000m).
“I’m hoping the tongue-tie will help him (Roger Roger) on Saturday,” explained Logan.
“He got his tongue over the bit last start (pulled up lame and finished seventh in an Open Maiden race over 1200m on 21 October), so the gear change should help him improve.
“His trial the other day (finished third to Super Generous in trial no 1 on 31 October) with the tongue-tie on was good and from gate three, he should run a forward race.”
– Singapore Turf Club