Emotional win for Logan

Local apprentice Ashvin Goindasamy guiding Poker Queen to a special win for trainer Samantha Logan at Tauranga yesterday, beating the favourite Nordic (outside).

Samantha Logan has won more than 20 races in her brief training career, but none mean as much to her as the one she recorded at Tauranga yesterday.

It may have been only a maiden race that the Cambridge trainer produced Poker Queen to win, but it was one surrounded in emotion as the Ekraar filly is raced by the estate of her late father, Dean Logan, the former Ruakaka trainer whose battle with cancer ended in March 2015.

Dean was a very popular member of the racing fraternity and long-time President of the Whangarei Racing Club whose friendship in racing was spread far and wide..

Also bred by the estate, Poker Queen is the last of six foals the Straight Strike mare Straight Ace produced and it was also on the same course that her oldest and most successful sibling, Ace High (by Drama Critic), recorded one of his five wins in April 2010.

‘’Ace High was the first horse I owned with Dad so it’s pretty cool to get this win,’’ Logan said.

Ace High’s last win came in the 2011 Whangarei Cup and now his little half-sister Poker Queen has emerged as a very promising three-year-old filly.

Poker Face began racing last October at Te Awamutu and made ground late after being runner-up in her third trial on the same course then after another trial she showed vast improvement when third to Lord Arthur over 1400m at Rotorua.

She returned to Rotorua a few weeks later and fought well after making the pace to finish third to It’s Doable and Kinshasa over 1400m and that form has stood up well as Kinshasa went on to win at Hastings last week to put her on a path to the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham next month.

Promising Cambridge apprentice Ashvin Goindasamy was aboard Poker Queen in her first start and back in the saddle for yesterday’s Laser Plumbing Te Puke 1400 and he gave the filly every opportunity. He pushed her along in the early stages to stay handy then had her fifth one-off the fence for most of the way.

Poker Queen was travelling nicely approaching the home turn and soon after Goindasamy angled her out to have a crack at the leaders. She quickly ranged up and led with 150m to run then, with Goindasamy lying low and pushing her out hands and heels, she held on strongly to win by a head from the favourite, Nordic, trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

It was a Cambridge trifecta with Babiche, prepared by Catherine Cameron, finishing a creditable third.

‘’I was actually going to run her last week, but waited and gave her three weeks between runs,’’ Logan said. ‘’She has really come on. She had a couple of good gallops last week in company.

‘’She’s tough, a little bit hard work at times. She puts that into her raceday toughness. It’s to her credit.’’

Logan was full of praise for Goindasamy, who is apprenticed to Ralph Manning and also won the last race yesterday on Lady Shabeel.

‘’Ash rode her a treat,’’ she said. ‘’He’s a man on the move and when he gets through this winter he’ll be a top rider.’’