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Ruud Awakening Return Adds To Flemington Intrigue
Last season's champion New Zealand 2YO Ruud Awakening (Bernardini-Dawn Almighty, by Danehill) will make a surprise return to racing in the Domain 1100 at Flemington tomorrow, reports NZ Racing Desk. Surprising, because Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh has opted to target the $80,000 race for 3YO fillies instead of kicking off the Gr1 winner in a black-type event as would normally be expected. He says he believes it is a better fit for her spring program. "I thought Saturday's 1100 metres race down the straight at Flemington looks like an ideal stepping stone to the Champagne Stakes on the 27th," Marsh explained. "Then there's a new race at Caulfield on October 12, which is not black-type but it's a $250,000 3YO race." Marsh continued, "If everything's going super, then we'll have a crack at the Gr1 Coolmore, but she'd want to be flying to be going for that." Despite not having a trial in preparation for Saturday's race, Marsh is pleased with the condition of his stable star. "She worked well on Wednesday and might be a little bit more forward than what I had initially thought, so she'll be ready to go on Saturday," he said. Ruud Awakening has hitherto won 5 of her 7 career starts including a brilliant 2.3-lengths win in the Gr1 Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie in March when recording a blistering time of 1:08.78. However, her most recent outing was an uncharacteristic sub-par performance in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill in April, when she was beaten 8-lengths by Overreach.