By Glenn Davis
Trainer Helen Page is hoping old warrior Rudy can start his summer campaign the same way he finished off the winter with a win at Doomben on Saturday.
Rudy smashed the $1 million prizemoney barrier at his last appearance after claiming the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben in June and launches his summer campaign in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m).
Rudy is not eligible for the Magic Millions race day at the Gold Coast in January but Page has still earmarked the Magic Millions Trophy (2200m) as his main target this summer.
“I’m not ruling out the Villiers in Sydney as it’s still an option but the Magic Millions Trophy is his aim at this stage,” Page said.
“He’s not a sales-related horse and normally can’t run on Magic Millions day but he can gain a start if he wins the Shoot Out at Doomben next month.”
The winner of the $100,000 Shoot Out Quality (2200m) at Doomben on December 30 qualifies for a wildcard entry into the Magic Millions Trophy.
Rudy won the Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in 2014 and ran seventh the following year in the famous Randwick feature.
Rudy will be ridden by Michael Cahill who rode him in two barrier trial wins at the Gold Coast in preparation for his summer return.
“Rudy is a pleasure to train and is going enormous,” Page said.
“He likes wet tracks so the heavy track won’t worry him.
“He’s as fit as I can get him for a first-up run and he’ll be very competitive.
“It’s possible he can win but he’s got 60 kilos which is the biggest worry.”
Page rated the Recognition Stakes as very strong this year and is wary of former Hong Kong galloper Beauty Flame.
Beauty Flame is trained at Tamworth by Melanie O’gorman who is a renowned horse-breaker and trainer of Highway Handicap winner, Suncraze, in Sydney.
Beauty Flame is an eight-year-old with only 36 starts but is a Group 2 winner and was placed twice at Group 1 level at Sha Tin when trained by Tony Cruz.
O’gorman, a sister-in-law to Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith, is undecided if she’ll make the trip to Brisbane unless track conditions at Doomben improve.
Beauty Flame drew the visitor’s gate in 17 while Rudy will jump from barrier two.
Racing Queensland webnews November 22