The 2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap field has been released and trainer Helen Page believes that Rudy has drawn ideally in barrier three for the Group 3 event that will be held at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Rudy returned to Sydney racing with a very close third behind Hooked and Ecuador in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick, but he did not have a great deal of luck in running and he was caught wide in the early stages of the race.
Page is confident that Rudy will get a much better run in transit from barrier three in the Bill Ritchie Handicap this weekend and he believes that the race should top him off perfectly for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) that will be held at Royal Randwick on October 3.
“This one will be great for him,” Page told Racing Ahead.
“I still won’t let him go to the great, he will be ridden about midfield and we just have to get out where there is plenty of galloping room.
“Randwick is good for that and he seems to like Randwick.
“I am very happy about barrier three.
“He has to have this run in the Bill Ritchie to get him fit really for the mile race.
Page was thrilled with the tough effort of Rudy in the Tramway Stakes and she believes that the Red Dazzler has trained on strongly ahead of the Bill Ritchie Handicap.
The Gold Coast-based trainer said that she has deliberately kept Rudy on the fresh side for the Bill Ritchie Handicap and she is confident that her star galloper is a genuine in the Group 3 event, but won’t be at his peak until he runs in the Epsom Handicap.
“He is spot-on,” Page said.
“I bought him home to the Gold Coast after that race and he took a couple of days to get over that float trip, but he has thrived and he is back to his bouncing best now.
“I have kept him fresh.
“He had a tough run in the Tramway, we didn’t have any favours, he had a bad barrier, he was drawn deep, he had to do it tough and he was still getting to the line.
“A few more bounds and he is there.
“His grand final is on the third of October and that is where he will be at his best.”
There is plenty of talent in the Bill Ritchie Handicap field and Rudy is set to take on the likes of Messene, Index Linked, Heart Testa, Sadler’s Lake and Forget.