Helen Page has trained Group winners and a Melbourne Cup placegetter but tough gelding Rudy remains one of her all-time favourite horses.
Page, who was the first woman to train a Melbourne Cup placegetter when Magnolia Hall was third in 1991, has even renamed her Gold Coast stable Rudy Lodge.
Page will be emotional if Rudy can claim another stakes win in the Group Two Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The now six-year-old Rudy has done a wonderful job for Page with his eight wins, including three in stakes company, spread over his five seasons of racing.
Rudy’s biggest win was the 2015 Group Two Villiers Stakes and he has run in black-type company on 31 occasions.
Page believes with any luck Rudy could have won more stakes races.
“He has been so honest in races like the Group One Doncaster Mile. But of late he has paid the price for being so consistent with big weights in Queensland races,” Page said.
“And he hasn’t had much luck. Even at his last start (third in the JRA Cup at Randwick) the track was bottomless and it was impossible to run down the leader but he just kept trying.”
“It would give me a special thrill if he was able to win.”
Page said she realised it was an above average Hollindale Stakes on Saturday with a couple of Group one winners in the field.
“But he deserves his chance in the better races and from here we will go on to the Doomben Cup,” she said.
“I don’t know about the Brisbane Cup, we will see what happens later.”
Rudy was once considered a superior wet track horse but Page has always maintained he is as good on dry surfaces.
Robbie Fradd, who is back from a wrist injury, will have his first ride on Rudy in the Hollindale.
“He looks a good ride and we will just need a touch of luck,” Fradd said.