Gold Coast trainer Helen Page confirmed on Thursday morning the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival plans of her Villiers Stakes winner Rudy who is Doncaster Mile 2015 bound this season.
The Red Dazzler gelding has won seven of his 18 starts to date and will shoot for a maiden elite level victory this time in with Page targeting the lucrative $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick Racecourse on April 4 for the four-year-old.
After a disappointing debut when beaten nine lengths at Eagle Farm in June 2013, Rudy was quick to atone winning his other two starts that opening preparation.
Since then highlights include a third in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben last May and his back-to-back wins to see out his spring – summer campaign.
Rudy broke his black-type duck on November 29 in Brisbane winning the Listed Recognition Stakes (1630m) before a successful interstate debut in Sydney on December 13.
At Randwick, where he will return this autumn, Rudy beat home a decent field including runner-up I’m Imposing and third placed Strawberry Boy in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m).
The Villiers Stakes performance was a strong effort, especially late on the line where he had a neck to spare, and Page is hoping to see more of the same when he returns and steps up in class this autumn.
Rudy has been tested in Group 1 company just once before but it was a failed effort he’ll be out to atone for in the Doncaster.
Page ran him against his own age in Eagle Farm’s Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) last June but from the outside barrier (18) he didn’t stand much chance.
Jockey Hugh Bowman took him straight to the front and the youngster was quickly run down before fading to finish second last over 12 lengths off the winner Sonntag who heads towards the $1.6 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 11 this time in.
Leading into the Doncaster Mile Page has nominated two lead-up races for her up-and-comer.
Firstly Rudy is set to resume in the $150,000 Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on Chipping Norton Stakes Day, February 28.
From there plans are for him to have his final Doncaster lead-up in the $175,000 Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14.
Early pre-nomination Doncaster Mile betting markets are already open and going off at Ladbrokes.com.au.
It’s a tight early affair with Hong Kong Mile winner Able Friend ($7) narrow favourite over Japanese raider World Ace ($8) and Peter & Paul Snowden’s ace Caulfield Guineas winning colt Shooting To Win ($9).
Rudy meanwhile can be found further down the Doncaster Mile odds at $26, a price sure to firm if he can win one or both of his confirmed lead-up assignments.
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