Valley still next stop for Cambridge filly

Stephen Marsh believes his initial assessment of Ruud Awakening’s fitness was spot on after the Cambridge filly finished fifth fresh-up at Flemington last Saturday.

“She definitely needed the run,” the Cambridge trainer told The Informant. “Originally I thought that would be the case, but after she got over here and worked last week, I did think she could be a bit more forward. Watching her on Saturday, I was right the first time.

“She travelled beautifully in the run, but blew out with a furlong (200m) to run. She had a big blow after the race and she’ll take massive improvement out of the run. Really it was like an $A80,000 trial for her.”

Having her first start for five months, Ruud Awakening vied for the lead from the outset in the Doman Plate (1100m) and when her condition gave out rider James McDonald didn’t punish her. She finished four and a half lengths from the winner, Miracle To Me, and picked up $A2000 for the exercise.

Ruud Awakening struck a dead4 track last Saturday and Marsh is adamant she needs a good track to show her best. “James said they were getting into it and that’s not for her,” said Marsh. “She wants a track she bounces off.

“She’s bright and happy, and her legs are good. We’ll press on for Moonee Valley as planned.”

The Moonee Valley target is the Gr.3 $A150,000 Champagne Stakes, a three-year-old fillies 1200 metres on September 27.

“It’s at set weights so she will drop two kilos and meet the other fillies on the same weight,” said Marsh. “The Moonee Valley track should suit her, too. She should scoot around it.

“She’ll have to finish in the top three if we’re to go on for the (Gr. 1 $A500,000) Coolmore Stakes at Flemington on Derby day.”