Rudy hasn’t got size on his side but if he can claim the Epsom Handicap it will make for an underdog story for the ages.
The five-year-old son of Red Dazzler is expected to improve sharply on whatever he does in his return to racing at Doomben.
Rudy will line up against a hot field in Saturday’s Jim Barry Open (1350m) which will be his final Brisbane run before he heads to Sydney.
The gelding will be taking the first step in his bid to join an elite group of Queensland-trained gallopers to win one of the big two Randwick miles, the Doncaster and Epsom.
Dalrello, trained by Jim Atkins and part-owned by Daryl Gollan, won the Doncaster and two All Aged Stakes in the mid-1970s to grab the mantle as Queensland’s best 1600m horse.
Noel Doyle’s Kinjite who won the 1992 Epsom while Roger Milne’s Captain Sonador was the last Queensland horse to win either of the mile features in 2010.
Rudy is well on his way to being a top 1600m horse having won the Group Two Villiers at Randwick, and Listed Recognition Stakes at Doomben.
His other runs at 1600m have yielded a third in the Group Three Gunsynd Plate and a fourth in the 2015 Doncaster, behind Kermadec.
Trainer Helen Page has far more immediate things on her mind than a possible place in history for Rudy.
“He does face a task on Saturday against a very good field. We usually wouldn’t have started him first up over 1350m and in previous campaigns he has tackled 1200m or 1100m races fresh,” Page said.
“But we didn’t have much choice the way the program falls. He has only been back in work for eight weeks so he does have improvement in him.
“On the other hand he won a trial in nice fashion and he has pleased me since.
“I expect him to race well but if he is beaten it won’t be the end of the world.”
Rudy will be ridden for the first time by in-form apprentice Luke Dittman.
“Luke has never ridden him before. I would have liked him to ride Rudy in the barrier trial but Luke had to go to Sydney.”
Page has mapped out a three-race program in Sydney for Rudy who will contest the Tramway Handicap and Theo Marks Stakes before tackling the Epsom.
Article from justhorseracing.com.au