Last season’s two year old stars Rubick and Earthquake are set to clash for the second time, the first as three year olds, in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The Gerald Ryan trained Rubick and Goldolphin’s Earthquake are two of the nineteen three year olds nominated for the Coolmore Stud Stakes which is one of four Group 1 races on Saturday’s star studded Derby Day program.
The only time the Encosta De Lago colt and the Exceed And Excel filly have locked horns was in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival with Earthquake emerging the victor.
Rubick ran a mighty race and wasn’t disgraced in finishing in fourth position, two and three quarter lengths behind Earthquake.
Both Rubick and Earthquake are going into Saturday’s Group 1 as last start winners and will be facing a top class field of colts and gelding and fillies.
Earthquake took three runs this campaign to regain her winning form but looked like returning to her best after winning the Group 3 $150,000 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) for the three year olds at Caulfield on October 11.
While Rubick won first up in dazzling style with new jockey Kerrin McEvoy against the older horses in the Group 2 $200,000 Anco Instant Turf Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on the same day.
Ryan has been pleased with the progress of Rubick since and is happy with his condition going into Saturday’s race up the Flemington straight..
“He trialled really well down the straight last Friday, he really enjoyed himself,” Ryan told Racing Network.
“Kerrin rode him and he said he was very relaxed, well balanced and his action was terrific.”
“He seems to be right on song at the moment.
“He looks good and seems to be a happy horse.”
“It should be a great race.”
Ryan has also nominated Time For War who is coming off a second to Coolmore Stud Stakes rival Kuro in the Listed $100,000 Aristocrat Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 18.
The Coolmore Stud Stakes is loaded with three year old talent including smart fillies Bring Me The Maid from the Peter Moody stable and the Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison trained last start Blue Sapphire Stakes winner Eloping.
Chris Waller has nominated last start Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes winner Brazen Beau, Delectation and Law who finished second to Galaxy Pegasus, also nominated for the Coolmore Stud Stakes, in the Group 3 $150,000 Telstra Phonewords Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
Smart Sydney colts Nostradamus and Scissor Kick are set to make their Melbourne Spring Carnival debuts while the Ken Keys trained Rich Enuff is dropping back in distance after finishing second as the odds on favourite to Shooting To Win in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.
In early betting for the Coolmore Stud Stakes, Ladbrokes.com.au have marked Rich Enuff as the $4.20 favourite just ahead of Rubick at $4.40 and Kuro at $5.50.
Brazen Beau at $6 and Earthquake at $9 are also well fancied while Scissor Kick is listed a $10 chance ahead of Eloping at $11.