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Volkstok'n'barrell win a thrill for Mana Park

Volkstock’n’barrell wins the Group 3 Manuka Doctor Bonecrusher Stakes  - Photo:Trish Dunell
Volkstock’n’barrell wins the Group 3 Manuka Doctor Bonecrusher Stakes

Photo:Trish Dunell

A few weeks ago Mana Park's Maryanne Simon was trying to find a good home for a nice old mare that had been semi-retired, now that mare is off to Cambridge Stud to visit Tavistock again.

The mare is 18 year-old Volkster (Volksraad[IRE]-Row of Mapperley) the dam of the Group Three Bonecrusher Stakes winner Volkstok'n'barrell - Tavistock's second stakes winner. She is owned by Hong Kong based Dominic Li of IDL Bloodstock Limited, who also has a racing share in Volkstok'n'barrell along with his trainer Donna Logan, Ashley Goodwin, and Chris, Jim and Ann Gibbs.

Simon manages the bloodstock interests of IDL for Li and most of his horses are resident at her Mana Park property on the outskirts of Cambridge.

Volkstok'n'barrell finished an unlucky third over 1200 metres at his first start in late August on his home track at Ruakaka. Two weeks later on the same course he dealt to a maiden three-year-old field over 1400 metres winning by two lengths, and a fortnight later lined up in the Bonecrusher.

He settled outside the leader, and took control 200 metres from home and went on to win by four and a half lengths easing up.
At the same race meeting forty minutes earlier Avisto (ex Miraculous Miss) a daughter of Tavistock completed a hat trick of listed wins when she took out the listed Soliloquy Stakes for three-year-old fillies. While in Sydney later that same afternoon Diamond Valore (ex Special Diamond) also by Tavistock was second in the group three Gloaming Stakes, rounding off a big weekend for the young Cambridge Stud based sire.

Volkstok'n'barrell is Volkster's ninth foal, and best performer. She is also the dam of Baron Orzcy (Rory's Jester [AUS]) a winner of seven races, Silent Tornado (Fasliyev [USA]), three wins and Zidansky (Kempinsky[AUS]) also a winner who were all bred and raced in Australia.
Li purchased Volkster when she was in foal to Thorn Park (AUS) and he also races that foal now a mare called Galatika who has been placed out of the Logan stable.

"Dominic bought Volkster as she was a full sister to the dam of Le Baron, whom he had so much success racing from the Logan stable," according to Simon.

Le Baron won the 2008 Great Northern Guineas Prelude and the Great Northern Guineas before being sold overseas.
"We discuss all the matings for his mares, then we argue about the choices, it's a battle every year and in this case I conceded as Dominic really wanted to go to a son of Montjeu(IRE). I'll give him this one".

"After Volkster foaled Volkstok'n'barrell she missed to Guillotine so we decided to give her a year off and that turned into another year so hopefully she will not have forgotten how to get in foal." Volkster is one of four mares Li will be sending to stud this season. He has already had the misfortune to lose Mes Yeux Bleus and the foal she was carrying to Mastercraftsman(IRE), she has a yearling colt by that sire and a Thewayyourare two-year-old colt in Mana Park's Ready To Run draft next month.

Another of his mares Queen Cha Cha a High Chaparral mare out of Chablis, also has a colt in the Ready To Run sale, by Bachelor Duke. He is a half-brother to the stakes placed winner Sauvito (Thorn Park). Queen Cha Cha herself is a half-sister to Pinot Grigio (O'Reilly) who Li raced, he was placed in the Group Two Wellngton, Avondale and Hawkes Bay Guineas, and the listed Castletown Stakes.
"We are engaged in a debate at the moment as to where to send Queen Cha Cha who has just foaled a filly to Mastercraftsman," added Simon, "but we have agreed on the other matings.

"All The World (Stravinsky[USA]- Oh So Precious[IRE]) will visit Batchelor Duke and Bahama Chica (Fantastic Light[USA]- Choral Chimes[JPN]) will visit Tavistock. All The World has an Iffraaj (IRE) colt going to the sales and Bahama Chica has a Red Giant two-year-old he will race."
"I knew Dominic was always going to end up with some nice mares as about seven years ago all the yearlings he bought to race were well related fillies, and now we are seeing them at stud."

Since establishing his bloodstock interests in New Zealand, Li has had quite a bit of success on the race track. As well as Le Baron and Pinot Grigio, he has raced the Bonecrusher Stakes winner Jungle Juice, and Dashing Donna who won a listed Newmarket Handicap and was second in the group one Railway Stakes and third in the group two Concorde Handicap. And now he has an interest in Volkstok'n'barrell.

He also has two well-bred race horses in Singapore trained by Bruce Marsh, Sir Lovesalot (Darci Brahma- Sound Lover) a listed winner here and Knight's Command (Pins[AUS]-Emerald Dream) who won three races before being exported. Knight's Command is on target for the Singapore Gold Cup in November.

The association between Li and Simon started about a decade ago shortly after Simon had established Mana Park with her husband George the well-known racing commentator. "I was travelling every year to Hong Kong taking horses with Maureen and Bruce Harvey for the annual two-year-old sale, and at that stage Dominic was running the sale. His father Alan was previously the chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. He expressed an interest in investing in New Zealand and I offered my assistance and invited him to come and have a look around and have been looking after his interests ever since.

"He is a fabulous owner, he was very thrilled when I called him in Hong Kong after the win, and in fact he is always thrilled just to win a race even if it's a maiden. It is the first stakes winner he has bred and it's the first stakes winner to be born and raised at Mana Park.
"It's quite a thrill to see him become our first stakes winner, he was broken in here and did all his early work here. He went through Seaton Park's draft and Dominic retained a share after Donna bought him at the sales. He never put a foot wrong the whole way. He has a lovely nature like his mother. She is a beautiful mare and we couldn't even give her way a few weeks ago!"

"His paddock mate was Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj[GB]- Indomitable) that George and I bred, his brand is 1 over 1 and Trevor's (Volkstok'n'barrell) is 2 over 1, Sea of Speed that we raised for another Hong Kong client, and ran fifth in the Soliloquy is 3 over 1. Turn Me Loose is one of the favourite's for this weekend's Hawkes Bay Guineas so we may make it a double this week.

"Indomitable (Danehill [USA]-Kwan[IRE]) has a lovely Rip Van Winkle [IRE] yearling filly and has just foaled a filly to Power (IRE) and will visit Cape Blanco (IRE). If we have a good Ready To Run sale we might just keep the yearling filly," she said.

The chances of Mana Park having a good Ready To Run sale are quite high as they are preparing 25 lots this year by some pretty impressive stallions, and over the years they have developed a good reputation for producing top quality horses.

- Michelle Saba


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