There could be no more fitting a horse to claim the honour of being the 100th stakes-winner for champion sire Encosta de Lago than his two year-old-son Rubick (2c Encosta de Lago x Sliding Cube, by Sliding Cube) , who won the Group III MRC Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield on Saturday and is destined to stand at Coolmore when his racing career his done.
Making his Melbourne debut following a scintillating victory at his first run in Sydney on January 25, the Gerald Ryan trained Rubick was sent out a hot favourite against a crack field of colts and emerged triumphant.
Not the best to begin from gate three, Rubick mustered speed quickly for Brenton Avdulla and eventually surged through to hold the fence and lead, albeit under pressure.
While those around him wilted when they turned for home, Rubick found the line gamely to win the 1100 metre sprint by a length clocking 1:03.71, the exact same time recorded by Earthquake in winning the fillies division of the Prelude.
“He’ll improve on that,” said Gerald Ryan.
“He did a lot of work in the race and maintained a sustained speed throughout.
“When I got down here and saw him I thought he might have done too well, so there is definitely improvement there.”
It’s now full steam ahead to the Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes in two weeks time, a race won by his close relation Redoute’s Choice in 1999, but beyond that Ryan was non-committal.
“We might stop him after the Blue Diamond and look to the spring,” he said.
A three-quarter brother-in-blood to Group I winner Manhattan Rain, Rubick is the third foal of Group III winner Sliding Cube, a three-quarter sister to Group I winners Redoute’s Choice and Platinum Scissors and half-sister to Manhattan Rain, who is of course also by Encosta de Lago.
While most of this family has been retained by Muzaffar Yaseen’s Teeley Assets, Rubick was consigned to the sales under the Vinery Stud banner and was sold at Magic Millions last year to David Raphael for $460,000.
Earlier today Coolmore announced they had secured an interest in the colt who now runs for a partnership that also includes his previous owners Stallion Racing, managed by David Raphael, Damien Flower’s Jadeskye Syndicate and Teeley Assets, who elected to retain a share.
Champion sire Encosta de Lago has 20 yearlings for Inglis Premier in Melbourne and 11 for Inglis Easter.