by Duane Ranger
Te Awamutu trainer Murray Logan hasn’t trained a winner since December 30, 2010, but the 70-year-old has a good chance of breaking that drought in the first race at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday.
Logan, who is a psychiatric nurse in Mangakino, also owns and bred Toro Delago, who will start from gate six in the $8,000 Brogden Horse Transport Mobile for the maiden pacers.
“He was dehydrated when he last lined up at Cambridge on Christmas Eve, but before that his five starts this campaign have been okay. He has improved since then and I was happy with his two placings at Manawatu before that.
"In saying that horses are never as good as what trainers think. They can make you look a fool at times, but it would be great to get back in the winner's circle again. It's been a long time between drinks," Logan said.
Logan has had a long association with Peter Ferguson and that Cambridge reinsman is likely to be in the bike again this week.
“I’ve always used Peter, if not. then his son Dylan. I own, train, and breed them, but I’m not much in the sulky. I like to leave that to the professionals. If he can get a nice run he can show up, but he will need a bit of luck in the running,” the Waikato horseman said.
Toro Delago, who is by Art Major, has only had six starts for two placings. He is yet to put his hoof in the till at Cambridge, but Logan likes the way he has been going about his business.
"He made his debut on Christmas Eve 2016 and then he never raced again for 11 months. He's only four, so he's still got a bit of time on his side. He's been up since July this time in," said Logan.
He said Toro Delago's dam - Shirley (Mach Three - All Our Smiles) was one of the better horses that he had trained.
"She won three races. Lady Carlina also won two for me. She was a nice Dominion Hanover mare. Alba Toff was another one I raced in the early 1990s. She won four, but probably the best one I have trained was Vicolo Way. He won three here and then about half a dozen in Australia," he said.
Logan said he always had one horse in work. His next 'project' could be his Betterthancheddar - Belle Abbeye 2-year-old named Vernazza.
"I always like to have one to work, but I'm not getting any younger. I've been doing this for many decades now, and even though I still love the horses they aren't as easy as what they used to be," Logan said.
Toughest for Toro Delago to beat will be the Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins trained Alta Mach, who resumed with an eye-catching second behind Lerato at Cambridge Raceway on January 12.
The 4-year-old Mach Three mare has placed in three of her five starts, including twice on the track and over the distance.
She will start from one on the second line behind another fancied runner, the Ray Green trained Yasmine Bromac.
While Logan has waited more than seven years for his first winner, Pukekohe policeman, Richard Carter has waited just over nine years since he trained his last winner at Cambridge Raceway.
That came via Pacific Image and Nicole Molander on December 11, 2008. He did however train Rattle N Hum (Todd Macfarlane) to score at Alexandra Park on June 1, 2012.
Carter will line up his Betterthancheddar gelding, Random Chance, also in race one.
The 3-year-old has placed in three of of his four trials and workouts in December and January, and has drawn nicely at barrier two.
The last time Carter had a horse to the races was in the 2012-2013 season when he had Rattle N Hum going around.
Thursday's Pick 6 will be worth $25,000.