Destined to replace his champion sire Encosta de Lago at Coolmore when his racing days are done, exciting three year-old colt Rubick (3c Encosta de Lago x Sliding Cube, by Rock of Gibraltar) made his seasonal debut at Caulfield on Saturday beating older rivals to win the Group II MRC Schillaci Stakes.
The Gerald Ryan trained colt was sidelined at the start of spring due to a virus, but showed he was well and truly over that minor hiccup with this sustained display of speed.
Ridden a treat by Kerrin McEvoy from barrier one, Rubick led throughout under his light weight of 53 kg and forged clear at the finish to win the 1000 metre dash by a length over Group I winners Platelet and Overreach.
“He had barrier one and we controlled it under his light weight,” said Kerrin McEvoy.
“It’s amazing how many of these top sprinters have that nice relaxed attitude and that’s what he’s got.”
Rubick clocked a brisk 56.68 seconds and will now head to the Group I VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.
“It’s three weeks to the Coolmore so he has that bit of improvement in him still to come,” said Gerald Ryan.
“He’s the best horse I’ve had since Snitzel.”
Rubick has had just four starts for three wins, his lone defeat a gallant fourth in the Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes behind Earthquake, who also won earlier today.
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 his breeder 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.
Coolmore subsequently bought into the colt after he had started racing and he now runs for a partnership that includes Stallion Racing, managed by David Raphael, Werrett Bloodstock, Damien Flower’s Jadeskye Syndicate and Teeley Assets, who elected to retain a share.
Rubick is one of 103 stakes-winners for champion sire Encosta de Lago, who is 21 and stands at a fee of $38,500.