Classy New Zealand-trained filly Ruud Awakening will return to Australia for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival after impressing trainer Stephen Marsh since making her return to trackwork six weeks ago.
Ruud Awakening was the juvenile star in New Zealand earlier this year with the two-year-old scoring dominant victories against strong fields in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham, Listed Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie and Group 1 Diamond Stakes (1200m).
Her outstanding form in New Zealand was enough to convince connections to pay the $150,000 late entry free for the 2013 Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) but, despite being one of the best backed runners in the lead-up to the race, she could finish no better than fifteenth after starting from the outsider barrier of the sixteen horse field.
Despite the Golden Slipper disappointment,Marsh has made the decision to bring the Bernardini filly back to Australia with her campaign set to begin in either the Group 3 The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield on August 31 or the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 7.
“She has just done everything right so far and has really strengthened up after her break,” Marsh told New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing.
“At this stage we are looking to give her a jump-out here at Cambridge next month before she heads to Melbourne for her first run which will either be on the 31st of August or the 7th of September.
“She pulled up a treat after her work-out on the weekend and I just couldn’t be happier with her.”
Marsh has not had a winner in Australia since Anca was victorious in the Queensland Rail Fly Handicap (1100m) and Folding Bench Australia Quality (1350m) at Doomben back in 2006.