Refreshed Ruud Awakening

Exciting Cambridge two-year-old Ruud Awakening is set to have one further run before her main mission, the Karaka Million at Ellerslie on January 27.

“She’ll run in the lead-up at Ellerslie 15 days before the Karaka Million,” said trainer Stephen Marsh. “That’s really been the plan all along and we’re sticking to it.”

Ruud Awakening is one of the leading hopes in the $1million Listed 1200-metres event, which is confined to horses from the Karaka sales.

She has looked very exciting from the outset, following up a trials win with a five and a quarter-length debut win at Avondale. She then headed south and easily won the Listed Seaton Park Wellesley Stakes at Trentham before facing her first defeat, when second to Bounding in the Listed Murdoch Newell Stakes at Pukekohe.

Ruud Awakening lost her chance with a slow getaway, but produced an amazing effort to finish as close as a long neck from the winner. Taking nothing away from the winner who is a very smart youngster, she did look a certainty beaten.

“She’s normally very fast out of the gates so it was a surprise,” said Marsh. “It was unfortunate, but you just move on. She had the trip down to Wellington and it’s good to freshen her. She’ll come back well from the little break.”

Meanwhile, Marsh is looking for a change of luck with Savour The Moment as the horse attempts to bounce back to his best form at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Savour The Moment finished seventh behind Nashville in the Group II Coupland’s Mile at Riccarton last month, but Marsh is confident of a better placing this weekend.

“Things just didn’t go his way in the Coupland’s Mile,” said Marsh. “He ended up 1.9 lengths from the winner and should have been a lot closer. It’s frustrating because when he runs in the big races he seems to have no favours at all.”

Savour The Moment will contest the Rating 85 1600 metres at Te Rapa and will be attempting to win the race for the second time. He won it last year when beating Villifye, who later in the season won the Group II Windsor Park Stud Japan Trophy at Tauranga.

The long term mission for Savour The Moment is the Group I Thorndon Mile at Trentham in January and along the way he could also contest the Group II Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie.

Marsh is also keen to tackle the Thorndon Mile with the lightly tried Barbaric, who suffered his first defeat in three starts when second to Miss Pelear at Te Rapa on November 10. That form was made to look even better when Miss Pelear followed up with a close second in the Group II NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Pukekohe.

“He pulled up sore after the Te Rapa run,” said Marsh. “Jason (Waddell) said he was going up to win the race then at the 200 he wasn’t right. He’s had a bit of time off and been on the walker and water walker and is back at the track.”

Barbaric won his debut by seven and a quarter lengths at Hastings and his other win was by a length and a half at Te Rapa.

“He’s very smart and if we can sneak him into the Thorndon Mile on a light weight he would be a good chance,” said Marsh.