By Glenn Davis
A Commonwealth Games lockdown may prevent Gold Coast trainer Helen Page from saddling her first ever runners at Toowoomba’s Clifford Park on Saturday.
Page has never had a starter in Toowoomba since moving from Sydney’s Warwick Farm to train at the Gold Coast 21 years ago.
Page has Rudy in the Toowoomba Cup (2000m) and Star Stiletto entered for the Benchmark 75 Handicap (1300m).
Skye Bogenhuber, who won the Toowoomba Cup on Bang On in 2013, will ride Rudy while apprentice Ruby Ride will be aboard Star Stiletto.
“The Commonwealth Games is wonderful for the Gold Coast but it’s a bit difficult for trainers travelling horses,” Page said.
“I may not be able to go as I’m in an area which is in lockdown for a Commonwealth Games event on Saturday.
“I’ll have to move the car out of the area early which I’m planning to do anyway but it’s a bit of a hike, especially for my husband, John.
“I’ll probably give it a miss and just send the staff to Toowoomba.”
Page conceded her lack of knowledge of Clifford Park was the main reason she booked Toowoomba-based Bogenhuber.
“I have never had a runner at Toowoomba and that’s the reason I booked Skye as she knows the track better than anyone,” Page said.
“She’s won a lot of Toowoomba premierships and knows the track backwards.”
Page plans to send Rudy to Sydney for the JRA Plate at Randwick on April 21 if the gelding performs well in the Toowoomba Cup.
Rudy finished a creditable seventh to Bodega Negra in his comeback at Doomben a fortnight ago.
“I’m not sure how he’ll handle the track but he should run well,” Page said.
“He got back too far at Doomben last start on a track which favoured front runners or horses on the pace.
“Jag (Guthman-Chester) said the best part of his race last time was at the finish.”
Page has been pleased with Rudy’s progress since his first-up run and hopes to have him peaking for his Sydney assignment.
“He ran third in the JRA Plate last year and was very unlucky,” Page said.
“He’s going well but he’s getting older now so I’m looking at longer races with him now.
“After he runs in Sydney he’ll come back for the Hollindale Cup, O’Shea Stakes and Brisbane Cup.”
Rudy has won more than $1 million in prizemoney and will be embarking on his seventh interstate trip when he ventures south for the JRA Plate.
Racing Queensland webnews April 5