Multiple Group One winning jockey Damian Browne will ride stakes performer Rudy for the first time with trainer Helen Page electing not to claim on the gelding.
Rudy will be having his first start since finishing 10th in the Group Two Brisbane Cup in June when he starts in Saturday’s Open Hcp (1350m) at Doomben.
The gelding has won only one race in almost two years but as a 103 rating horse has 61.5kg.
Page considered using a claiming apprentice on Rudy but in the end decided a better option was a senior jockey of Browne’s experience.
Browne has been riding regularly for Page and recently won on Powerful Saga for her at Doomben.
“They haven’t missed Rudy at the weights but it is no use whingeing. I could have claimed but Damian is one of the best jockeys in Australia so why not go with him,” Page said.
She said Rudy had been tuned up for Saturday’s assignment with a good second in a trial at the Gold Coast last month.
“The trial was won by Fiery Heights who is a quick 1000 metre horse and Rudy finished off nicely,” she said.
Rudy is a noted fresh horse although his best strike rate is second-up.
Storms have again been forecast for Brisbane which will suit Rudy who has won four times on heavy tracks.
Rudy won the 2014 Group Two Villiers Stakes at Randwick and is being aimed at this year’s version on December 16.
“There is a $100,000 bonus if you can win the Villiers and the Bernborough Stakes at Eagle Farm (December 31) so at this stage we are hoping to head that way,” Page said.
Rudy ran fourth in the 2015 Doncaster Mile and Page has the Sydney autumn in the back of her mind for the gelding although another crack at the Brisbane winter carnival is more likely.
“We have to get through the summer first. But we decided to miss the spring to concentrate on the summer so lets hope it works,” she said.
Rudy has been a great money spinner for his breeder, Chinchilla doctor Tom Clarke, and his brothers Don and David.