Trainer Ciaron Maher has confirmed that the 2017 Caulfield Cup will figure as the major Spring Carnival target for Ruthven, after the three-year-old stormed home to win the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) last weekend.
Ruthven was sent off a $3.50 favourite in the Queensland Derby and after stalking the pace in transit, produced a big turn of foot in the final straight at Doomben to defeat closest rival Rockstar Rebel by more than four lengths.
Ruthven finished fourth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and second in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) during his campaign prior to posting his maiden win at the highest level last weekend.
Confident that the horse only improves with a big workload, Maher told RSN that the Domesday colt will be kept ticking over through a short break and will not be set on a traditional path towards the 2017 Caulfield Cup.
“He’s always threatened to do that, this horse,” Maher said.
“He’s always had loads of scope and just done a few things wrong and aided by a great ride and a great job by the team, the penny just finally dropped with him. His work indicated that he really went on and was dominant.
“He just looked outstanding on Saturday. You don’t see it very often, but he’s just thrived on it and I think he really enjoyed the travel. When he got up there to Brisbane he was just bouncing.
“He’s probably going to have a shorter let-up and probably won’t go back to as short a distance. He might kick off in an 1800m or a 2000m race – something like that.
“He’s a colt and they need to stay in work. He’ll have a short break up in Brisbane and we’ll keep him ticking over. He’s had three Derbies and looked better in the last one, so the work certainly doesn’t affect him – it almost brings him on.”
Ruthven has posted three wins and a further five minors through his short, but impressive ten start career to date.
Ruthven is currently available at early 2017 Caulfield Cup odds of $26 with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.