An impressive win by debutante Rubick in the TAB iphone App Plate (1000m) at Randwick tomorrow could see the Gerald Ryan trained colt challenge Earthquake for favouritism for the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22.
The hype about Rubick has been enormous since the Encosta De Lago colt won a 900m Rosehill barrier trial by seven and a quarter lengths on January 7, prompting Ryan to say he is the best two year old he has trained since Group 1 winning Snitzel was in the stable.
While Rubick is a $1.45 to win on debut, his price of $7 for the Blue Diamond could tumble dramatically with a top performance and seriously threaten Earthquake who is currently head of the market order at $3.90.
The Peter Snowden trained Earthquake was immediately installed the Blue Diamond Stakes favourite after winning first up by two and half lengths over 1000m at Randwick on November 9 and is due to have her next start in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8.
While Ryan has a very high opinion of Rubick, he finds it hard to fathom how an unraced two year old could be so prominent in Blue Diamond Stakes markets and wants to wait to see how he performs under race conditions.
“I only take notice of how the horse is going but to me I wouldn’t have thought a horse that’s unraced, that has had one trial in public, five weeks out from the race would be second favourite,” Ryan told the Sportsman.
“But he’s done everything right so far.”
Even though Saturday’s race has six first starters in the seven horse field, Ryan regards it as a good first up test for Rubick who will be ridden by Brenton Avdulla.
The Peter Moody trained Pink Perfection is the most experienced youngster in the field with a last start win over 1000m at Warwick Farm on January 11 at her third race day appearance.
But the race looks to have plenty of depth with Chris Waller saddling up I Am Invincible colt Brazen Beau and Country Warrior by Markane as well as Gai Waterhouse lining up her Fastnet Rock colt Valenti and Lonhro filly Twirl.
And four time Golden Slipper winner Clarry Conners has Shamardal filly Create making her race debut after winning an 800m Warwick Farm trial by six lengths on January 10.
“It looks a strong race but don’t run away from the opposition if your horse is fit and well and doing everything right,” Ryan said.
“If I wanted a weak race I could have gone to a maiden.”
“He’s got a great attitude and works well all the time and handles older horses with no effort.”
“He’s the best one I’ve had since Snitzel, I’m not comparing him to Snitzel.”
“If he’s as good as I think he is I won’t get sick of talking about him.”
Snitzel was the flag bearer for the Ryan stable in the 2005 and 2006 seasons and after having been one of the top two year olds of his juvenile year, went on to win the 2006 Group 1 $350,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield as a three year old.