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Logan wins first race in Singapore with Green Star
Michael Lee

New Kranji trainer Donna Logan has not taken too long to saddle her first winner at her new base.


Green Star, her third Singapore starter from her fledgling team of only 11 horses, including the undisputed star Volkstok’n’barrell, won the last race at Friday night’s bumper 10-race programme, the $45,000 Thundering Jet 2010 Stakes, a Class 4 Non Premier race over 1200m.


The 57-year-old New Zealander only moved to Singapore from her training base in Ruakaka in February, having had to put off her arrival after a freak pool accident which she fortunately survived. A winner of around 850 races in New Zealand, including 60 at Group and Listed level, Logan has given her horses time to acclimatise and get ready, finally launching her first runner, Whakaaria Mai last Tuesday, picking up a satisfactory eighth place as a first result.

Newcomer Green Star (Craig Grylls) gives new Kranji trainer Donna Logan plenty to cheer about.

She fielded two more runners on Friday night. Command Royale (Desmond Chan Wei Sheng), a Court Command four-year-old and three-time winner over 1200m in New Zealand, was sent out as the $18 favourite in the $80,000 Chase Me 2012 Stakes, a Class 3 Division 1 race over 1200m, but ran fourth after being right in the mix at the 200m.


Not as experienced as Command Royale, having raced only twice for a second place for Logan’s daughter Samantha, Green Star ($81) was probably less expected to hand his trainer that first Kranji hurrah in the last race, especially after he had also drawn wide in 10.


But after a peach of a ride from fellow Kiwi rider Craig Grylls, the Iffraaj four-year-old, who is raced by Logan’s mainland Chinese owners, did send Singapore’s second lady trainer (after Leticia Dragon) into raptures when he kept digging deep inside the concluding stages.


Parked in a handy spot, albeit three wide, Green Star gained the ascendancy from leader Super Denman (Barend Vorster) upon straightening. Fusion Power (Noh Senari) and Arr Flair (Michael Rodd) came baying for his blood the entire length of the straight, but Grylls rode for dear life, evidently badly wanting that first win for his fellow Kiwi trainer.


The gelding responded to Grylls’ persuader by finding plenty inside those last 50m which must have felt like 50km, to scrape home by a neck from Fusion Power with Arr Flair third another half-length away. The winning time was 1min 12.59secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.


“We’ve been here only for a short while and to get that first win out of the way is a big thrill. We actually rated both horses to win tonight,” said Logan.


“Command Royale ran good and will improve from that run. My daughter actually gave Green Star big wraps.


“At the top of the straight, I saw him up there and I was hoping he would hang on. I’m also really rapt for my China clients.”