A barrier trial in New Zealand will have a bearing on the autumn carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne.
Emirates Stakes winner Turn Me Loose and Rosehill Guineas winner Volkstok’n’barrell will both run over 1200 metres at Avondale on Tuesday ahead of Australian campaigns.
Turn Me Loose is scheduled to run in the Group One C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 13 while Volkstok’n’barrell will run in the Waikato Sprint on the same day ahead of a possible return to Sydney.
While the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Turn Me Loose blossomed during the Melbourne spring, Volkstok’n’barrell failed to recapture his autumn form.
When he returned to the Ruakaka stable of Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs, Volkstok’n’barrell was diagnosed with a rare respiratory issue but has flourished in the past few weeks.
“He seems to be completely over it,” Gibbs said.
“He runs in the Waikato Sprint over 1400 metres and that will tell us whether he comes back to Sydney for races during the Championships.
“He will be up against horses like Xtravagant at Te Rapa so it will be a test.”
Xtravagant has drifted to $11 in markets for the Australian Guineas following his last-start fourth in the Levin Classic on January 16.
He remains high up for the Australian Derby as an $8 chance alongside Vanbrugh with Victoria Derby winner Tarzino heading the market at $4.60.