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Helen Page’s four-year-old gelding Rudy justified his favouritism in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1630m) on Saturday, winning the mile race at Doomben by one and a half lengths.
Rudy was the $3.40 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au heading into the race.
The gelding was run conservatively in the early stages by apprentice jockey Luke Tarrant, who was afraid he had gotten too far back from the leaders on the home turn to make anything of the race. However his fears were unfounded when Rudy stormed home in the last 600 metres to win running away from Grayson Square with Darci Be Good in third place.
“When he was caught wide I thought I’d go back and look for some cover rather than push forward,” Tarrant told Sky Racing after the race.
“I knew he would run home strongly but I was definitely worried when he was a fair way off them coming to the home turn.
“I’ve watched this horse from the get-go and I know he’s capable of putting in a big finish.
“When he saw daylight today he was freakish in the way he let down in the straight.”
Page had instructed Tarrant to keep Rudy out of trouble in the race, which he achieved.
“I said to Luke not to get stuck on the inside because I wanted the horse to have an uninterrupted run,” the trainer said.
“He’s been ridden from a lot of different positions so even though he was about five-deep on the turn I thought he could still make it in time.”
Page is weighing up a travel down to Sydney for the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) on December 13 but could also keep Rudy in his hometown for the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) at Doomben on the same day. The gelding has already proven a winner over the mile at Doomben, why mess with a successful formula?
Natalie McCall’s Lady Echelon suffered a career-threatening leg injury in the 2014 Recognition Stakes, in which she finished eight lengths off Rudy in 11th place.
Wherever he ends up next, Rudy will look to continue his successful campaign which saw him finish second in back-to-back handicaps at Doomben before his win on Saturday.
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