There could be no more fitting a horse to claim the honour of being the 100th stakes-winner for Coolmore Stud champion Encosta de Lago than rising star Rubick.
Encosta de Lago (Fairy King) originally retired to stud at Blue Gum Farm in 1997 and Chong Tong registered his first black-type win at Flemington on Victoria Derby day in 2001.
Coolmore Stud re-routed him to the Hunter Valley in 2004 and bumped his service fee from $38,500 to $132,000. It reached a career high $302,500 in 2008.
Rubick (2c Encosta de Lago – Sliding Cube by Sliding Cube) is also destined to stand at Coolmore and he scored a convincing victory in the G3 Blue Diamond Prelude for colts and geldings at Caulfield on Saturday.
Making his Melbourne debut following a scintillating debut in Sydney, the Gerald Ryan trained colt was sent out a hot favourite against a crack field of colts and emerged triumphant.
Not the best to begin, Rubick mustered speed quickly for Brenton Avdulla and eventually surged through to hold the fence and lead, albeit under pressure. While the rest other front-runners wilted, Rubick found the line win by a length from Jabali and the fast-finishing Chivalry and Nostradamus.
“He will improve on that,” trainer Gerald Ryan declared. “He did a lot of work in the race and maintained a sustained speed throughout.”
Ryan said it’s full steam ahead to the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes in a fortnight. “We might stop him after that and look to the spring. The only problem is his appetite. You like good doers but not as good as him.”
Rubick is a three-quarter brother-in-blood to Group 1 winner Manhattan Rain and his dam Sliding Cube is a three-quarter sister to Group 1 winning racehorse and sire Redoute’s Choice. He was sold by Vinery Stud as agent on behalf of Muzaffar Yaseen for $460,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
Hours before the Blue Diamond Prelude, Coolmore Stud announced it had secured an interest in the colt who now runs for a partnership that also includes existing owners David Raphael, Damien Flower and Yaseen.
Encosta de Lago has 20 yearlings entered for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and another 11 lots for the Inglis Easter Sale.