Ruud Awakening needs rider first-up


Ruud Awakening, who will have a change of rider when resuming at Hastings. (Photo: Wally O'Hearn).

Ruud Awakening, who will have a change of rider when resuming at Hastings. (Photo: Wally O’Hearn).

The choice mount of smart Cambridge mare Ruud Awakening is up for grabs at Hastings on April 4.

That’s the message from her trainer Stephen Marsh after watching her finish second in an open 950-metre heat at last Tuesday’s Cambridge trials.

“She’s all set to go to Hastings but with Te Aroha on the same day and most of the top riders going there we have to find a new rider for her,” said Marsh.

Ruud Awakening has been ridden in most of her recent races by Danielle Johnson, but she is booked for the Marsh-trained Procurement in Te Aroha’s Gr. 1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes.

Ruud Awakening, the champion NZ two-year-old two seasons ago, hasn’t raced since finishing unplaced in the Gr. 1 J.R. & N. Berkett Telegraph Handicap (won by Sacred Star) at Trentham on January 17.

Marsh had been pleased with Ruud Awakening going into this week’s trial and he was happy with her performance on footing which hadn’t suited her in the past.

“The ground was pretty chopped up and I wasn’t worried if she won or not,” said Marsh. ”She sat wide and had a good blow afterwards. It was a nice trial.”

Ruud Awakening will resume over 1200 metres then return to Hastings a fortnight later for the Listed $50,000 City Of Napier Sprint (1200m).

“We’ll just see what she does in the next couple of starts before deciding where to go with her,” said Marsh. “We’ve got a few options in mind.”

Marsh is thrilled with the progress being made by Procurement towards the Te Aroha mission.

“She has done a treat since she ran in the Cuddle Stakes and she had her first quiet runalong on Tuesday morning and went well,” he said. “She’s on target for Te Aroha.”

Marsh is also likely to nominate Oceania for the Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha. The Pins mare has won four of her 16 starts and was fifth behind The Diamond One and Procurement in Trentham’s Gr. 3 Cuddle Stakes.

“She’s well and some easing of the ground would help her,” he said.

Marsh was pleased with the performance of Chipandchase when finishing fourth behind Fix in an open 1200-metre trial last Tuesday. It was his first outing since his third to Candle In The Wind in the Karaka Stayers Cup last January.

Marsh was also to the fore with his two-year-olds Scarlet’s Secret (by Savabeel) and No More Tears (by Darci Brahma) winning their heats convincingly, while Frazzle, an Iffraaj two-year-old filly, was runner-up in the first trial.