Four-year-old gelding Rudy is set to begin preparations ahead of a busy autumn campaign in Sydney on Tuesday morning with a jump-out on his home track at the Gold Coast.
“That is the plan at this stage weather permitting,” trainer Helen Page told Sky Racing.
After winning the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick back in December, Rudy was awarded a guaranteed start in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile over the same track and distance on April 4, which is what the gelding will now be focused towards this season.
“It is nice to be already in the Doncaster field so we don’t have to rush things,” Page said.
“Rudy has come back an even nicer horse and we are hoping he can measure up to Group One company.”
Nearly two months after winning the Villiers, Rudy is set to return to the track in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on February 28. The gelding is then likely to run in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 14 before the 2015 Doncaster Mile three weeks later.
Rudy has only had one previous start racing at the highest level, finishing second last in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) last June. However his chances at running better in the $3 million Doncaster Mile are much better, especially if the track is rain-affected.
The past four Doncaster Miles have been run on rain-affected tracks and Rudy has won five of his seven starts on soft or heavy ground.
“He is just as good on dry tracks. It is just that many others don’t handle heavy going,” Page said.
Rudy enjoyed a lucrative spring-summer campaign, finishing runner-up in two open handicaps at Doomben before winning the Listed Recognition Stakes (1630m) by one and a half lengths. The gelding then travelled to Sydney for the first time for the Villiers Stakes, rewarding his trainers trust by winning the feature race a head in front of I’m Imposing.
The gelding is currently paying lucrative odds of $26 in the Doncaster Mile futures betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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