The Group 1 $650,000 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival is on the agenda for Rudy following a change of plans.
Gold Coast trainer Helen Page had sent Rudy to the spelling paddock following his brave fourth to Kermadec in the Group 1 $3m The Star 150th Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 6, but after further consultation with connections, the Red Dazzler four year old will be put back into work.
Page said that senior part owner Tom Clarke was keen to test Rudy over a middle distance again and while he was fit and competing at the highest level, they would keep him going with his next run to be in the Group 2 $358,000 A. D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on April 25 leading up to the Doomben Cup.
“Tom and his wife Gilda are off for a holiday but he was keen to try Rudy over a middle distance in top company,” Page told AAP.
“We feel Rudy is racing like he would like the 1800 to 2000 metre distance range.
“In a normal year we might have looked at the Group One Stradbroke which is usually run over 1400 metres at Eagle Farm.”
“But this year it is 1350 around Doomben and that won’t suit him.”
Because the Eagle Farm race course, which is the home of the Stradbroke Handicap, is undergoing extensive restructuring at the moment, the Winter Carnival’s flagship event will be run at Doomben this year over 1350m, not over it’s traditional distance of 1400m.
Page did test Rudy over a middle distance during last year’s Winter Carnival which resulted in a third to the Chris Waller trained Vilanova in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben followed by a seventeenth to Sonntag in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
Page said that Rudy had really developed over the past year and was a much stronger galloper as a four year old.
“He is a much stronger horse now,” Page said.
Rudy was racing in outstanding form over the Summer and recorded a win in the Listed $100,000 Tattersall’s Recognition Stakes (1630m) at Doomben on November 29 before heading to Sydney where he sliced through the field to take out the Group 2 $175,000 Inglis Villiers (1600m) at Randwick on December 13.