Jockey Brenton Avdulla is confident that exciting colt Rubick can transfer his barrier trial form to the races when he makes his debut in the TAB IPhone App Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Rubick stamped himself as a contender for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) with an ultra-impressive seven lengths victory in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens on January 7 and is currently a dominant favourite to make a winning start to his racing career.
Avdulla has done the majority of the trackwork on Rubick and told News Limited that he wasn’t surprised about the dominant way that the son of Encosta De Lago won his barrier trial.
“I hate rapping two-year-olds because they can let you down a lot of the time, but this horse has a good attitude, he’s got the pedigree and strength, and we weren’t surprised by the way he won his trial,” Avdulla said.
“We’re going into a strong little race on Saturday, but we’re going there knowing we’ve got a good chance of winning and getting a guide of where we’re at.”
There is plenty of pressure on jockeys when they are riding short-priced favourites, from both connections and punters, but Avdulla said he is more excited than nervous to finally have the chance to partner the colt in a race.
“I rode Ilovethiscity when he was an even-money favourite in the Randwick Guineas, and Saturday isn’t a high-pressure situation like that,” Avdulla said.
“I’m actually more excited about riding the horse.
“I just want to see him go to the races and get the job done; it happens a lot with two-year-olds where they show a lot in the trials or at home, but fold under pressure on race day.
“As long as he doesn’t fold under race-day pressure, we’ll be in the race for a long way.”
There is very little exposed form in the two-year-old race at Royal Randwick this weekend, but Avdulla still expects there to be plenty of speed in the contest.
The rising jockey said that he will wait and see how Rubick before deciding on his riding tactics, but said he would be surprised if his mount was beaten for tactical speed in the early stages of the race.
“He is a horse that just has natural speed,” Avdulla said.
“There looks to be a fair bit of speed in the race and it is going to be a strong little two-year-old race.
“I predict there will be a bit of pressure there and I will just have to sum up how my bloke jumps.
“He trialed very speedy the other day and I am tipping that he will put himself on the bunny.
“We will get a better guide of where we are at on Saturday and I am sure that we will learn a lot more about him.”
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