By Glenn Davis
Leading Gold Coast trainer Helen Page will break new ground with her first ever starter at Toowoomba next month if Rudy makes a pleasing comeback at Doomben on Saturday.
Rudy will be ridden by apprentice Jag Guthmann-Chester when the seven-year-old resumes in the Mandate Open Handicap (1630m).
Page moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast in 1997 and has never had a starter at Toowoomba’s Clifford Park in 21-years training in Queensland.
Page was a former champion show rider in her youth before a distinguished career training at Warwick Farm in Sydney.
She trained up to 60 horses at one stage in Sydney including her best Magnolia Hall who finished third to Let's Elope in the 1991 Melbourne Cup.
Page's husband John was also a top trainer in his own right before his minor health problems forced the couple to move north.
Rudy drew a near outside gate and was scratched from last Saturday’s Listed Goldmarket Handicap at the Gold Coast but it was always Page’s preferred option to start at Doomben.
“I didn’t really want to run two weeks in a row and I only put him in the Goldmarket as a cover,” Page said.
“He’s only had a month out since his last run three months ago and he hasn’t trialled because of the wet weather and the trials being cancelled.”
Page is planning another interstate trip with Rudy who hasn’t raced since finishing sixth at Doomben on December 30.
“He’ll run on Saturday and then go for the Toowoomba Cup next month,” Page said.
“I think the Toowoomba Cup might suit him but I’ve never had a runner at Toowoomba.”
The $100,000 Toowoomba Cup (2000m) will be run at Clifford Park on April 7.
Page is aiming Rudy for the JRA Plate at Randwick on April 21 before he returns for the Brisbane winter carnival.
“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 for him.
“He’ll only go to Sydney for the JRA Plate at this stage and then come home 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 March 21