The last two Kranji Mile renewals have been like night and day for trainer Donna Logan.
The Kiwi handler was on top of the world last year when Minister won the Group 1 mile race for her first feature-race breakthrough at Kranji.
While the son of Street Sense had not found the line again, positive signs on the track still gave Logan and Thai owners King Power Stable reasons to believe in a successful title defence bid on Saturday.
But it all went pear-shaped when Minister missed the kick and stayed one-paced in the home straight, despite a rapid recovery to sit midfield on the fence. He ran ninth, more than four lengths off the winner Lim’s Lightning.
The lacklustre run from the stable banner was not the only downside to Logan’s forgettable week.
Last Thursday, her husband Peter Woods’ mother died at the age of 87 in New Zealand. Woods flew out earlier, while Logan had to wait until the Kranji Mile was run before she could travel.
Speaking from New Zealand, where the funeral took place on Monday, Logan was doing her best to keep her spirits up.
“We visited Peter’s mum a few weeks ago and she was fine. But her condition suddenly took a turn for the worse last week,” said Logan.
“Peter flew out on Wednesday and was by her bedside, in time before she passed on the next day. So, it was good Peter got to see her mum one last time.
“She was one woman who has never been on medication all her life. She was the last survivor of a family of 10, the Peacocks.
“Her ashes are back home today, and I’ll be flying back on Monday. Peter will stay till Wednesday.”
While Logan goes through the healing process of grief and loss, she has also found some time to do a post-mortem of Minister’s run.
“He’s such a funny horse. He needs to be happy with himself to be at his best,” she said.
“When he missed the kick, he wasn’t happy to go forward and Harry (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) said he didn’t like getting caught on the fence, and he got off the bit.
“It’s a shame as the horse was super well, but things didn’t pan out his way. He needs things to go his way and he needs plenty of air.
“We’ll now look at the QEII Cup (Group 1 QE II Cup over 1,800m on Oct 15), which will lean more towards his best trips, but those young guns are also too sharp.”
Logan will unfortunately not be around at the next Kranji meeting this Saturday. But her in-form yard can still keep the homefires burning with a team of a dozen runners.
Though she had no joy in the Kranji Mile, a double through Stenmark and Silent Is Gold has vaulted her to second place on the Singapore trainers’ log on 20 winners, eight behind Tim Fitzsimmons.
One horse who could narrow down that margin is Flashfast in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over the mile.
Two encouraging runs, including a second to Bingo Master at his last start, a small field and the Manoel Nunes factor will probably see the Dream Ahead three-year-old start at prohibitive odds.
“He got home pretty good last start. He didn’t lose any admirers,” said Logan.
“To get to the 1,600m for the first time is going to suit him, and he is also running in a small field this time.
“He’s also got Nunes in the saddle, which is always a plus. Nunes has done a lot of work on him, and you could see more maturity in the horse at his last trial (second on May 19).
“All in all, he’s got a very big chance.”