Williams confirmed for Ruud Awakening

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh just keeps on ticking the boxes with his freak filly Ruud Awakening in her buildup to next Saturday’s Group I $A3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill.

The latest tick came when Craig Williams confirmed he will ride Ruud Awakening in the Slipper. Williams had other mounts to consider including Assail, who contested the Group II Parramatta Leagues Club Magic Night Stakes at Rosehill yesterday, but finished only midfield.

“I was always confident Craig would ride her,” said Marsh. “He just had to fulfil his other engagements. It’s great to have him back aboard.”

Willliams rode Ruud Awakening when the filly thrashed her rivals in the Karaka Million at Ellerslie two starts ago and Opie Bosson was in the saddle when she produced a similar performance when taking the Group I Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie.

“Craig flies in (to Sydney) on Monday and he will ride her in a gallop on the course proper here at Rosehill on Tuesday morning,” said Marsh. “It’ll be a good chance for her to have a good feel of the track and get used to the stands and surroundings when she gallops down the straight.”

The next couple of days are going to be very important to Marsh and the Ruud Awakening camp. Tomorrow the $A150,000 late entry fee for the Golden Slipper Stakes must be paid and Tuesday will not only be the last fast work for Ruud Awakening, but also the barrier draw for the Slipper.

“I’d love to draw between four and six, but really I’d be rapt to draw inside seven,” said Marsh. “The barrier draw is so important.”

Marsh is delighted with the manner in which Ruud Awakening has handled the Sydney trip.“She travelled great and hasn’t battered an eyelid since she has been here. She’s been perfect,” he said. “She’s unbelievable.”

Ruud Awakening worked on the grass on her own last Saturday morning at Rosehill and with Rodney Quinn in the saddle she hit out nicely. “He said she felt great,” said Marsh. “She pulled up well and it’s all go for the Slipper.”