Ruud Awakening draws the outside gate in Golden Slipper

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New Zealand trainer Stephen Marsh hasn’t given up hope of winning the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday with Ruud Awakening after drawing the extreme outside barrier.

craig williams

Craig Williams has plenty of work to do in the Golden Slipper after Ruud Awawkening drew the outside gate. Photo by Steve Hart.

Marsh draw out the eighteen marble but will jump from sixteen when the field is reduced to sixteen runners with the scratchings of the emergencies and the Kiwi trainer admits that his filly will need a lot of luck.

“I’ve only got myself to blame, I pulled it out,” Marsh said after pulling out the eighteen marble.

“Look we just gotta go with it, come into sixteen, going to need a lot of luck, but hopefully a bit of rain around will even it up a bit.”

Ruud Awakening ran sensational time in winning the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 9 in easy fashion and comes to Rosehill with three wins form her last three starts.

“The time she ran was good, she broke 1.9. Look she drew one that day, it’s a lot different drawing the sixteen,” Marsh said.

“But look she’s done little wrong to date, she’s very fast out of the barriers so I guess we will just see if she can jump. Obviously she has a lot more to cross here, I guess that’s why we pay Craig the big money to work it out from there.”

Craig Williams will replace Oppie Bosson who rode the Bernardini filly at her last start win at Ellerslie but the big race jockey is no stranger to Ruud Awakening having won the Listed NZ$550,000 Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie in January.

But Marsh was only able to secure the services of Williams after he had tested the Clarry Connors trained Assail who failed to qualify for the Golden Slipper with another unplaced run in the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill last Saturday.

“I was always confident Craig would ride her,” Marsh said.

“He just had to fulfil his other engagements. It’s great to have him back aboard.”

Ruud Awakening is only a $13 chance despite coming up with the horror draw while favourite Overreach is still at the very short odds of $2.15 after drawing the inside the gate.

Todman Stakes winner Criterion is next in the market at $11 with Victorian filly Villa Verde on the next line of betting at $12 and will have the job ahead of her coming out of gate fifteen, and shares that quote with last Saturday’s Pago Pago Stakes winner Sidestep.

Stablemates Sweet Idea and Whittington are at $15 just ahead of second emergency Il Cavallo at $16.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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