Co-trainers Donna and Dean Logan will use the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup at the Gold Coast as a pointer for a possible Stradbroke Handicap mission for New Zealand sprinter Durham Town.
The Logans concede Saturday’s 1300m feature is a roll of the dice to gauge Durham Town’s ability against the Aussie sprinters.
“We don’t normally bring sprinters over to this country. The Aussie sprinters are normally too sharp for our horses. That’s why we tend to bring over stayers,” Dean Logan said.
“We’re using this race to see where he can fit in over here.
“We hope to find out whether he’s just a second-tier sprinter or whether he’s up to the big races like the Stradbroke.
“He’s been nominated for the Stradbroke just in case he measures up, that’s the main reason we’re testing the waters with him tomorrow.”
The Group One Stradbroke handicap (1400m) will be run at Eagle Farm on June 9.
Durham Town has won six of his 10 starts in New Zealand but Logan believes the four-year-old’s record could be better.
“He hasn’t been tested beyond 1200 metres but we’re confident he can go further,” Logan said.
“He’s got a good record but he should have finished in the first three in the Telegraph Handicap.”
Durham Town lost rider Vinny Coglan in the straight in the Group One Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham on January 21.
“He was just running into the race when his rider was dislodged. He would have run in the first three that day,” Logan said.
“He had no luck in his previous start in the (Group One) Railway Stakes at Ellerslie when a horse rolled in on him.”
Despite his two unlucky efforts at elite level, Durham Town showed no harmful affects from the batterings by winning the Group Three Darley Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 3 on a slow track.
“He’s been working well since he arrived and we’re as confident as we can be,” Logan said.
“I think the danger will come from Mid Summer Music.”
The Peter Moody-trained Mid Summer Music was placed behind champion stablemate Black Caviar in the Group One Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington last November and is unbeaten in two starts on heavy tracks.
At her only two starts this campaign, the six-year-old failed first-up when seventh to Foxwedge in the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley before producing a marked improvement for second to unbeaten Atlantic Jewel in the Group Two Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 14.
Durham Town failed on debut in his only start on a heavy track in a maiden at Ellerslie in December 2010.