Queensland miler Rudy will have his final hit out for the Doncaster Mile in the Group 3 $150,000 Hyland Race Colours Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
In a change of plans, Gold Coast trainer Helen Page has decided to give Rudy one more run to tune him up for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick the following weekend.
The Red Dazzler four year old is equal number one in the order of entry for the Doncaster Mile courtesy of his win in the Group 2 $175,000 Inglis Villiers (1600m) at Randwick in December and Page had originally planned to go into the $3m Handicap on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on the back of only two lead up runs.
Rudy resumed from a spell with a second to It’s Somewhat in the Group 3 $150,000 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and then raced without luck when eighth, less than three lengths from the winner Burbero, in the Group 2 $175,000 APN Outdoor Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 14.
“I might have been a bit soft on him after his good second first-up in the Liverpool City Cup,” Page told AAP.
“The race was over 1300 metres and I didn’t want to flatten him. But he might have got away from us a bit and put on a bit of weight.
“He has really thrived down in Sydney.”
“Saturday should top him off very well and we have thought all along he is a Group One horse who gets into the Doncaster with 50 kilograms.”
Rudy has drawn the outside of the ten horse Doncaster Prelude field but Page is more worried about if there will be enough pace in the race to give her backmarker a genuine chance of reeling in the leaders.
“What does have me worried is the pace of the race. There was no pace in the Ajax Stakes and Rudy got posted on a limb,” Page said.
“He had no chance of winning the way the race was run.
“So we really do want some pace in the race this Saturday. It means we can ride him back and let him run home.”
Brisbane’s leading rider apprentice Luke Tarrant has been aboard Rudy at his last five outings and will team up with the four year old again in the Doncaster Prelude.
Rudy will be lining up against San Diego (3rd), Spy Decode (4th), and Malavio (6th) after they clashed in the Ajax Stakes.
Spy Decoder has drawn the rails with Craig Williams to ride while Malavio will jump from gate six with Jason Collett aboard.
Trainer John O’Shea has two runners and as well as San Diego (James McDonald, barrier 2), will saddle up Malice with Sam Clipperton from gate seven.
Damien Oliver will ride Bull Point who has drawn nicely at three and trainer Chris Waller has put the blinkers back on the four year old after he finished sixth to Suavito in the Group 1 $400,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 28.