Trainer Helen Page has revealed that she expects jockey Luke Tarrant to ride Rudy quietly in the early stages of the 2014 Villiers Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Rudy has shown a degree of tactical versatility since he made his racing debut in June of 2013, but he has produced some of his best performances when settled towards the tail of the field before being given the opportunity to show his explosive turn-of-foot in the concluding stages.
The Red Dazzler gelding did exactly that when he recorded an impressive one and a half lengths win in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1630m) at Doomben on November 29 and Page told Sky Racing HQ that she expects Tarrant to employ similar tactics on Rudy when he jumps from barrier six in the Villiers Stakes this weekend.
“It was amazing,” Page said.
“He has done this a couple of times when he has been ridden back in a race; when we have had him forward and had the perfect run into a race that is when he has had trouble because he hasn’t been able to get out.
“His best runs have been on a track where he can get out and have plenty of free space”
Page revealed earlier in the week that Tarrant would retain the ride on Rudy in the Villiers Stakes, despite the fact that he never previously ridden outside of Queensland and has had only one ride at Group level.
The veteran Gold Coast-based trainer said that she has had plenty of success using apprentice jockeys in the past, including Group 1 winning hoop Corey Brown, and she said she was more than happy to give Tarrant the biggest opportunity of his riding career to date.
“It is his first ride out of Queensland,” Tarrant said.
“Some people might knock that, but he is not only the leading apprentice here, he is the leading jockey in Queensland.
“I know in these races you generally go for a jockey with the experience and that has always been our motto, but I have had a lot of luck with apprentices and it just depends on the luck in running on the day; I’ve had bad luck with the best.
“I thought it was worth giving him a chance and he is dying to ride him in the race.”
Rudy is one of 15 horses that were included in the 2014 Villiers Stakes field that was released this morning and he will need to perform at his best to defeat the likes of Strawberry Boy, I’m Imposing, Sir Moments and Midsummer Sun.