The wet weather in Brisbane has been welcomed by connections of three-year-old Rudy who takes his first step towards the Queensland Derby at Doomben on Saturday.
Rudy, who will tackle the Alfred & Constance Handicap (1200m), has won three races, all on heavy tracks.
He was bred by Chinchilla-based doctor Tom Clarke who races him with his brothers Don and David.
The siblings have long dreamed of winning a feature staying race during the winter carnival.
Their family has raced many horses including Casawynk, a star stayer of the late 1960s who excelled on wet tracks.
Rudy’s trainer Helen Page has big plans for the gelding who is ultimately being set for the Group One Queensland Derby in June.
“Saturday is the first step for him. There are a series of two-weekly races stepping up in distance from here up to the Derby,” Page said.
“It will be hard but you have to dream and Rudy has come back a stronger horse.”
Rudy has not raced since he finished fifth at the Gold Coast over 1800m in January.
“He hasn’t had a trial but he has had a couple of jump-outs,” Page said.
“We have booked (apprentice) Tegan Harrison to claim 1.5 kilos which should offset the fact they put the weights up two kilos when Londehero didn’t accept.”
Page will get the right help to prepare Rudy for a Derby.
Her husband John trained Royal Sovereign who claimed the Victorian, AJC and Queensland Derby treble in 1964.
The Gillian Heinrich-trained Primal Flight is favourite for Saturday’s race having won his past two starts by a combined total of 11 lengths.
Heinrich and jockey Tim Bell have a big opinion of Primal Flight who is also being aimed towards the winter carnival races.
Bell has been asked to front stewards at an adjourned inquiry into a separate matter concerning why he was unable to ride Legazpi at the correct weight at Eagle Farm on Wednesday.