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Expatriate Kiwi trainer sweet on Singapore

4 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

The Singapore experience is being relished by high-profile trainer Donna Logan, who arrived to Singapore from New Zealand earlier this year.

After being granted a licence in December, Logan made the move in January after a serious fall delayed her departure from Ruakaka.

Logan slipped on the tiles of an infinity pool and fractured her upper jaw, sinuses, eye sockets and base of her skull.

Major surgery

On the day Logan and long-time partner Peter Woods were supposed to tie the knot, January 5, she was instead lying in an hospital theatre undergoing surgery to insert a titanium plate and wiring in her skull.

She recovered quickly enough to get married five days later in Whangarei and subsequently they headed to Singapore.

Donna Logan, following the victory of Volkstok'n'barrell in the G1 Rosehill Guineas

“I have always been a positive person and the bad days have gone behind us now,” Logan said.

She was happy to settle in pastures new after a series of burglaries provided more motivation to make a fresh start elsewhere.

“We got burgled five times before we left New Zealand.” - Donna Logan.

“We got burgled five times before we left New Zealand,” Logan said. “One time, they came into our room while we were asleep and unplugged my phone from the bedside table and took it. They were pretty cheeky.

“We got here and settled in straight away, we’re lapping it up. It’s a great lifestyle and I don’t even lock the house when I go out, there’s no crime.”

Logan is more than happy with the progress she has made in Singapore with stable numbers now on the rise with 24 staff in place.

Donna with her first runner in Singapore, Whakaaria Mai

“You have to give yourself a bit of time and let the locals get to know you.” – Donna Logan.

“You have to give yourself a bit of time and let the locals get to know you,” she said. “We’ve got some really good clients now, we’re really happy with the way things are going.

“We’ve got nearly 40 horses in our block which can take 47 and we can get extra stables to take up to 60.”

Logan recently bought a pair of 2-year-olds at the Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale, a colt by Dawn Approach (IRE) for $30,000 and a son of Pluck for $6000.

“I had a couple of orders to fill. Everybody prefers New Zealand horses though and that’s encouraging,” Logan said. “I’ll be at the Ready to Run Sale at Karaka and back for the yearling sale, we’ve got orders already.”

Illustrious half-brother

Logan trained her first winner in 1987 courtesy of Silver Kris (One Pound Sterling {GB}), who was a half-brother to the former champion 3-year-old Uncle Remus (Bandmaster II {GB}).

She subsequently enjoyed a successful training partnership with her husband Dean.

Despite going their separate ways in private life, Logan continued to train with Dean until his passing in 2015 following a battle with cancer and she was later joined in partnership by Chris Gibbs, who continues to run the Ruakaka stable with Michelle Bradley.

Logan's current career tally of winners is in excess of 850 with 60 at black type level, including eight individual Group I winners.

Top performer

Volkstok'n'barrell (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) has been her most prolific Group 1 winner with victories in the Rosehill Guineas, Haunui Farm WFA Classic, New Zealand Stakes and the Herbie Dyke Stakes. The 7-year-old has so far made two unsuccessful appearances at Kranji.

Volkstok'n'barrell winning the G1 Rosehill Guineas

Logan has also enjoyed classic success with Habibi (NZ) (Ekraar {USA}) in the G1 New Zealand Derby and the G1 New Zealand Oaks with Vapour Trail (Jetball).

Further domestic Group I success has come her way with Valley Girl in the Herbie Dyke Stakes, Zabeat (NZ) (Rhythm {USA}) in the Wellington Cup and with Good Faith (NZ) (Straight Strike {USA}) in the Ellerslie Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m).

Logan has also made her mark in Australia with Rising Romance's victory in the G1 ATC Oaks and Victory Smile (NZ) (Victory Dance {IRE}) won G1 The Metropolitan.