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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Wednesday, May 24 2017

Donna Logan has described Qiji Phoenix as the real deal ahead of his Australian debut but says she is unsure how her unbeaten juvenile will handle Eagle Farm's track on Saturday.

Qiji Phoenix - Trish Dunell

Qiji Phoenix is considered a leading contender for the Gr.2 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) following three-consecutive victories on home soil, including a dominant win in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 22.

And while gate 23 may give reason for concern, Logan thinks the starting barrier will have little meaning if her Not A Single Doubt colt doesn't like Eagle Farm.

"Oh my god they have given us the underarm, again! But in all seriousness, (the barrier draw) is what it is, the biggest query we have about the whole thing is how he is actually going to handle this track, we have not been on it, he hasn't seen it, it may well be the place to be," she said.

Logan is a regular competitor at feature Australian racing carnivals and believes Qiji Phoenix has adapted to the local conditions as good as she could hope.

"He is pretty amazing, not much worries him, as long as he has got a feed and a bucket of water he is happy, he hasn't turned a hair, he has loved every minute of it, couldn't be happier with that," she said.

"He has got gears, this morning the rider got off him and said he felt the gears in him this morning, his heart rate was amazingly low, we are ready, can't do much more now.

"I know at home and on track conditions he likes, he is the real deal.

"But I really do question how he is going to cope on this track, he hasn't been able to get out there.

"They say it is a little false, some horses don't have that confidence level in the ground. He doesn't worry about much so I'm hoping he doesn't have that lack of confidence of stretching out and giving his best.

"When a track is firmer, the good horses can show you they have got gears, when it is testing it is hard for them to kick out."

Logan believes Qiji Phoenix is tactically versatile and will therefore chat with jockey Leith Innes before deciding where she would like him to settle in the run.

"He can race anywhere, he can race on the speed, off the speed, he is one of those push-button rides," she said.

"From 23 we are going to have to sit down and assess the opposition, where they will be on the speed map, we will get that done and will work it out from there, the first two races on the card will give us an indication of where we need to be."

Posted by: AT 07:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email