Trainer Ciaron Maher is confident that Ruthven is primed for Saturday’s Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben Racecourse and has subsequently booked the services of leading Sydney hoop Hugh Bowman.
Bowman has already posted a number of feature race wins during the 2017 Brisbane Winter Carnival, including the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup aboard Clearly Innocent, while Ruthven has also secured a number of outstanding results this year; namely a credible fourth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and second in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) at his most-recent appearance.
The partnership of Maher and Bowman does not often extend to feature races, however the pair have experienced some outstanding success in major staying races in recent seasons, including the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) in 2014 with Set Square and this year’s Group 1 The BMW (2400m) with champion mare Jameka.
Maher told Racing Victoria that the colt has trained on well from his most recent outing and he believes that he will take plenty of beating when he takes his place in the 2017 Queensland Derby field.
“We kept him racing after Sydney because he’s a big, raw horse who is improving with each run and his run was very good in Adelaide,” Maher said.
“He had to do it both ends and was very strong through the line.”
Ending his debut preparation a close second in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m), Ruthven resumed this year for a credible fifth in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) before placing second in the Sportsbet Racing Form BM70 (1600m) on March 2nd.
Producing a smart performance on pace when second in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) in his only other start prior to the Australian Derby, Ruthven placed second behind Toffee Nose in the Vobis Gold Heath (2000m) on April 22nd; his only other start prior to the South Australian Derby.
The Domesday colt is currently considered a $6 chance in early Queensland Derby betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The 2017 Queensland Derby field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday (June 7th).