A proven performer over the distance and under the conditions, trainer Gerald Ryan has confirmed talented three-year-old Rubick will return to racing in Saturday’s Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick.
Securing three impressive race wins over his short five start career so far, Rubick has not been seen at the races since finishing a disappointing 12th in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1st; having been drawn on the opposite side of the field from winner Brazen Beau and placegetters Delectation and Kuro.
Thrilled with the condition of the valuable son of Encosta De Lago since his return to work in January, Ryan told AAP he was thrilled with a strong performance for second in a Randwick barrier trial on February 23rd and draws confidence from his first-up run in spring for victory in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m).
“I was very pleased with his barrier trial and he has done everything right since,” Ryan said.
“It’s going to be a pretty good field but I’m happy with what I’ve got.”
Revealing he will target maiden Group 1 success with the three-year-old in The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 21st, Ryan said form and results will dictate whether or not he will accept into the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) with Rubick on Day 1 of The Championships.
“We will wait until after we see how he comes up before we decide whether to take on the big names in the TJ Smith,” he said.
Taking out a minor over 1000m on debut before making a successful transition to black type racing in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) in early February, Rubick left and clear favourite for success in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 22nd, but faded over the dying stages to finish fourth.
Included amongst a talented list of 15 runners in 2015 Challenge Stakes nominations on Monday, Rubick will have arguably have to produce a career-best performance to date if to overcome a field likely to include Deep Field, Miracles Of Life, Famous Seamus and Tiger Tees.