Page to stick with Tarrant for Rudy in Villiers Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
December 9th, 2014

Apprentice Luke Tarrant has retained the ride on Rudy in the Group 2 $175,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Luke Tarrant and Rudy are set to team up again in the Villiers Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Luke Tarrant and Rudy are set to team up again in the Villiers Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Tarrant is still eligible to claim 1.5kgs in the metropolitan area but Gold Coast trainer Helen Page is comfortable to leave the young rider on board in the non-claim Group 2 Randwick feature.

The young rider is not only the leading apprentice but is currently leading the Brisbane Jockey’s premiership for the 2014 – 2015 season with twenty-nine wins on the board, seven in front of his nearest rival Jim Byrne.

“I’m not just bringing an apprentice. I’m bringing Queensland’s leading rider down,” Page told AAP.

“It is a big thing for him but he won’t be over-awed by the occasion.”

Tarrant has partnered Rudy in his last two outings for a second to Hopfgarten in 1350m Doomben Handicap on November 1 then scored a sensational win in the Listed $100,000 Tattersall’s Recognition Stakes (1630m) at Doomben on November 29.

But Page has left no stone unturned and has turned to former champion rider Darren Beadman to offer some advice to the fledgling jockey about how best to ride the famous Randwick track.

“I’ve spoken to Darren Beadman and he is going to give Luke a few pointers about how to ride Randwick,” Page said.

Page tested Rudy over a middle distance during the Brisbane Winter Carnival and after running third in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes over 2200m at Doomben on May 24, finished near the tail of the field in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 but she is content to keep the four year old to the mile for the time being.

Rudy has continued to improve this preparation and Page said that he is ready to step up to Group 2 company after his dominant win at Doomben.

“I think he is ready to take on those horses,” Page said.

“He will appreciate the bigger track at Randwick more than Doomben. He likes a bit of room.”

Rudy was in a class of his own at Doomben last start and after drawing a wide gate, Tarrant decided to ease back but had no luck slotting in and was posted three wide near the tail of the field.

But Tarrant didn’t panic and started to make his run on the Red Dazzler gelding approaching the home turn and Rudy had no trouble gathering in the leaders to score a comfortable win in the end.

The Villiers Stakes is developing into a high class contest with Queensland Guineas winner Sir Moments staying in Sydney after running fifth behind Villiers Stakes rivals I’m Imposing, Estonian Princess, and Strawberry Boy  in the Listed $100,000 Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on November 29.

I’m Imposing in one of three runners leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has nominated for the Villiers Stales along with Strawberry Boy and Multilateral.

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