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New Zealand Racing News
Thursday, June 01 2017

The Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs team have pulled up well in Brisbane after running in testing conditions at Eagle Farm.

Qiji Phoenix - Trish Dunell

Qiji Phoenix was beaten into seventh in last Saturday's Gr.2 Sires' Produce Stakes, while Here He Comes ran a tidy fourth in the Gr.3 Grand Prix Stakes ahead of his Gr.1 Queensland Derby assignment.

"I think it's quite lucky that they both have quite strong constitutions and they have got out of the race," trainer Donna Logan said.

"I know a lot of horses suffered big time, it was pretty testing."

Like many trainers, Logan was far from happy with the heavy track at Eagle Farm and believes it played a more significant role for Qiji Phoenix than his outside barrier.

"He was always going to be hard work from the draw. The track was probably more significant," she said.

"He loomed up at the 300m like he was going to kick-down and just go whoosh, but at the 200m it looked like someone had put a parachute on him and he was just going backwards.

"You don't really expect to have those testing conditions after two weeks of fine weather, so I really think it was a big effort after being parked four and five wide and basically running a mile."

Logan said his efforts told immediately after the race with a high heart-rate reading.

"It was the most elevated his heart-rate had ever been after any race he has ever had, so he had really put in," Logan said.

"I felt this could bottom the horse after that type of effort and having that five weeks between races, but he licked his bowl clean and was bright and bouncy on Sunday afternoon. In Monday's work he was very bright."

Logan has mixed feelings about the shift in track from Eagle Farm to Doomben for the remainder of the Brisbane carnival.

She thinks the move will benefit Qiji Phoenix, but the turning track and drop in distance in the Derby will do no favours for the big-framed Here He Comes.

"I don't really have the biggest confidence that Doomben suits him as much. Back to 2200m it doesn't play the best for him," Logan said.

"He improves with the more racing he gets, so you never know we might just turn the tables and he might go a slasher at Doomben.

"But it is a turning track and he is a bigger horse with a big stride and he's a horse that is better suited to those bigger tracks."

Jockey Leith Innes has flown back over to Brisbane and will gallop both horses on Saturday morning

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 09:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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