The 2015 Eclipse Stakes nominations have been released and Rudy will have the chance to return to his best form in the Group 3 event at Sandown on Saturday.
Rudy stamped himself as a genuine contender at Group 1 level when he finished fourth behind Kermadec in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 5, but he has been an inconsistent performer during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Red Dazzler gelding started his preparation with a third place finish behind Cum Dividend in the Jim Barry Coverdrive Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on August 22 and he finished in the placings in both the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 5 and the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at the same venue on September 19.
Rudy produced one of the worst performances of his career to date in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 and he was flat again in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 before he finished ninth behind Awesome Rock in the Listed James Boag’s Symphony Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on November 3.
31 horses have been included in the Eclipse Stakes nominations and there is set to be plenty of talent in the $150,0000.
One of the most interesting runners in the Eclipse Stakes entries is Tony Noonan-trained Our Positive Move, who is set to make his Australian racing debut in the Group 3 event.
Our Positive Move made his racing debut with a win in the Prix Mississipian (2100m) at Saint Cloud on June 5 and he finished second in the Prix Du Pont Mandrou at Chantilly before he was transferred to the care of Andrew Balding.
The Rail Link gelding finished a credible fourth in the Listed William & Son Paradise Stakes (1609m) at Ascot on April 29 and he finished at the tail of the field in the Listed Midsummer Stakes (1670m) at Windsor on June 27 before he was purchased by connections involved with the Noonan stable.
Another imported stayer that has been included in the Eclipse Stakes nominations is Macedon Lodge-trained Assign, who has failed to fire in three race starts in Australia to date, while Calvin Williams is another horse that is yet to acclimatize to Australian conditions.
Chris Waller-trained Ballet Suite, the in-form Digitalism, Australian Cup runner-up Extra Zero, Godolphin-owned Malice, new Darren Weir recruit Puccini, Robert Smerdon-trained Scream Machine and Robbie Laing-trained Tristram’s Sun are other notable Eclipse Stakes nominations.