Trainer Helen Page has dismissed any suggestion top galloper Rudy will be switched to the Group Two Villiers Stakes in Sydney and the gelding will remain in Queensland this summer.
Rudy won the 2014 Villiers and has since gone on to carry the Queensland flag in many Group races earning more than $1 million along the way.
He ran fifth at Doomben in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m) on November 25 at his first run since winning the Group Three Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) in June.
Page said any suggestion Rudy would have another attempt at the Villiers, which is run over 1600m, was off the mark.
“The plan has been to stick with a middle distance campaign and that is what we are doing,” Page said.
She said Rudy would tackle the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) on Saturday and then a 2000m race at Doomben the following week.
“The Shoot Out will be a very tough race but he should have had the right preparation and be at his best for it,” Page said.
“These days he is more of a stayer than a miler. His form over 2000 metres or further is very good if you take out a run like the Queensland Derby where he had no luck at all.”
With a rating of 106, Rudy heads the 18 nominations taken on Monday for the Brisbane Handicap with Hopfgarten (104) and Sir Moments (103) the next highest-ranked.
Among his opponents in the Brisbane Handicap will be Cantbuybetter who has struggled at his two most recent starts and was well beaten in the Recognition Stakes.
“I think you will see a better horse when he gets out to 1600 metres on Saturday,” trainer Ben Currie said.
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