Kranji – Logan Looking For Lady Luck

Kranji first due off @ 06h30 on Saturday

Trainer Donna Logan hopes some good old-fashioned lady luck and a winnable weight can see Istataba, the only mare in her stable, home in the SG$85,000 Class 2 race on Saturday at Kranji.

Istataba seen here at her last win in a Class 3 race on 6 August (Pic – STC)

The New Zealand conditioner acquired the Argentinean-bred five-year-old from ex-Kranji trainer Michael Clements in October last year and nearly “struck gold” at their very first outing together.

Istataba finished a career-high third at Group 1 level behind Lim’s Kosciuszko and Dream Alliance in the Gr1 Singapore Gold Cup on 11 November seemed to suggest the daughter of Treasure Beach was enjoying the feminine touch.

But after that, she ran unplaced in a Class 3 race on 11 February, albeit being held up at the 300m. This was followed by a third and a fifth over the same trip in the same company on 9 March and 21 April respectively. Those results tempered any short-term plans of grandeur.

However, given Istataba’s best runs, including her third in the Singapore Gold Cup when she carried 50kgs, had been on ‘fair’ weights, Logan was hoping the step up to Class 2 company with a drop to 52.5kgs will see the five-time winner back to her best.

“The drop in weight is a factor,” said Logan, who sits eighth on the current trainers’ premiership on eight wins.

“And jockey Bruno Queiroz has ridden her before, so that’s in her favour as well.

“She’s more than competitive at this level but the mile is as short as she wants it.

“And the race looked to have some nice horses involved with Makin and Cavalry as the standouts, so she will have to be on her game.

“But with 52.5kgs, I would expect her to be running home strongly for Bruno and who knows?”

Of future plans, Logan – who has also nominated Istataba for the SG$1 million Kranji Mile on 18 May – will play the card she knows best.

“Realistically, her (Istataba) best credentials are over longer,” explained Logan, who won the Kranji Mile with Minister in 2021.

“She’s a lovely mare and I was very excited when she ran third in the Singapore Gold Cup at her very first run for me.

“It’s obvious that trip (2000m) was ideal and she only carried 50kgs at the handicaps that day.

“So while we have been running her over the mile since that run, she will be targeted at the last Singapore Gold Cup in October and we will work back from there.

“The owners, Al Rashid Stable, are keen to see her run in some big races – why wouldn’t you? But we are undecided about running her in the Kranji Mile.

“The mile at set weights (Istataba would carry 55.5kgs) against horses like Lim’s Kosciuszko, will be a tough ask.

“The big races leading to the Gold Cup look like better options for her. Ideally, she could win a handicap race over 1800m, before we freshen her up towards the Gr1 Raffles Cup in August.

“Then she can show her best at weight-for-age (conditions) stepping up to the 1800m of the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup before another crack at the Gold Cup with no weight.

“Work towards your best goal by working backwards. That’s the only way.”

Of her five other confirmed runners on Saturday, excluding Emergency Acceptor No. 1 Aftermath in the SG$50,000 Class 4 race, Logan was hoping Otahuhu can transfer his excellent Polytrack form to turf in the same race.

“It’s a bit of a mixed bag on Saturday,” she continued.

“A few bad gates and good old Super Posh (x Super Easy) will be having his last run (in the SG$30,000 Class 5 race over 1000m) for us before heading to Malaysia.

“But I’m keen to see how Otahuhu (x Overshare) goes on the turf.

“He’s found really good form on the Polytrack and he’s drawn well for jockey Carlos Henrique, so fingers crossed he can go well again.”

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