Albury trainer Mitch Beer is optimistic Logan River can form part of his assault on the lucrative Country Championships after saluting at Queanbeyan on Saturday.
Making his debut for the Beer stable, Logan River ($2.45-fav) pounced on the early lead for jockey Simon Miller and proved too slick for his rivals in the $12,000 Maiden Plate (900m).
The three-year-old gelding was formerly trained by Tony McEvoy.
Logan River ran fourth in group 3 company on debut for McEvoy in early February last year and was touted as being a Blue Diamond contender before going amiss.
“He won really well and certainly has got his fair share of ability,” Beer said.
“He showed a lot of talent as a juvenile when he was with Tony McEvoy and I’m pretty sure he was among the main fancies for the Blue Diamond last year but missed the race.
“He arrived at the stables about eight weeks ago after failing to live up to the potential he showed as a two-year-old.
“He has had his fair share of issues since arriving and we’ve had to put a lot of work into him just to get him right to race.
“But I thought he was spot-on for Saturday’s race and it was good to see him deliver and gain some confidence.”
Logan River will now head to the Sapphire Coast on February 3 and will target a $30,000 Showcase race.
Several of his runners will be having their final hit-out before contesting the SDRA Country Championship Qualifier at Albury on February 23.
“The plan is to head to the Sapphire Coast and if he is good enough to win, it should raise his prizemoney enough to sneak a spot in the Country Championships,” he said.
“He could also target the 3YO Guineas on Albury Gold Cup day if his form warrants a start.
“They said when I bought him if you can get this horse right he is the sort of horse that could be competitive in metropolitan grade.
“I think they were spot on with that assessment and the horse has got a pretty bright future.”
Beer said stablemates Damselfy’s Kept and Shinseki would also target the Country Championships.
Dreams Of Paris, who ran second in the $100,000 Tasmania Stakes last month, is being set for a hometown victory in the Albury Gold Cup.
Beer said Gwenneth would return to Flemington on Saturday with Kayla Nisbet booked to ride the last-start city placegetter.
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