Tony Noonan isn’t renowned as a trainer of two-year-olds and that is not surprising on a couple of fronts.
The Mornington trainer doesn’t push his horses to race early and these days he only trains a handful of youngsters.
This season he only has four two-year-olds in his stable but one of them, Rusheen, has emerged as a potential Blue Diamond Stakes candidate.
Rusheen, by Toronado, made an impressive debut recently when he was successful at Bendigo.
Noonan is excited about Rusheen’s future saying that he hasn’t had a horse as good as him in the stable for some time.
The 60-year-old horseman, who now describes himself as a boutique trainer, has had success with Group One winners Ortensia and Piavonic as well as the likes of Majestic Avenue, Varenna Miss, Show No Emotion and Gunnamatta.
Noonan has nominated Rusheen for the 1200m two-year-old race at Caulfield on Saturday and says his performance will determine whether he proceeds to the Blue Diamond Stakes.
“If he runs as we expect he will we would head to the Blue Diamond Prelude before running in the Blue Diamond Stakes,” Noonan said.
Noonan purchased Rusheen as a yearling at the 2019 Inglis Classic Sale for $60,000 and the youngster was the only horse he bought at the sale.
Noonan said Rusheen was a strong, robust colt.
“He’s got a good attitude and he eats like a good horse so we’ll give him every opportunity to take advantage of his natural ability,” he said.
Noonan won a Blue Diamond Prelude in 1996 with Jumpin’ Jive and a Blue Diamond Preview with Northeast Sheila three years later.
“I don’t think I’ve had a runner in those races since so it would be good to get back there with Rusheen and then into the Blue Diamond Stakes,” Noonan said.