Raphael maintains the Rubick faith

by James Tzaferis, Racing.com | 25th Aug 2022

The man who knows Rubick better than anyone is confident the Victorian sire can make his mark on the racetrack this season.

David Raphael bought the son of Encosta De Lago as a yearling, raced him to Group 2 success and has maintained a close interest in his career as a stallion, first at Coolmore in the Hunter Valley and more recently at Victoria’s Swettenham Stud, where he stands for $22,000.

Rubick burst onto the scene as a sire thanks to the deeds of his first-crop son Yes Yes Yes, who won The Everest in 2019, while his fillies Rubisaki and last week’s Quezette Stakes winner Bound For Home have continued to fly the flag in recent seasons.

Speaking after watching the 11-year-old stallion parade in front of hundreds of onlookers at Swettenham Stud on Sunday, Raphael said he still followed each of Rubick’s progeny as though he owned them.

“It’s amazing how quickly the time goes but he’s still the same horse, just a bit bigger and a bit older,” Raphael said.

“I feel as though I own a small hair in all of them (progeny) because we’re a part of the journey and it’s really exciting to watch what they’re doing.

“He’s got a lot of runners on the track and I feel really proud whenever they run.”

Rubick has already sired 16 individual winners in the first three weeks of the 2022/23 racing season, including G1 aspirant Bound For Home.

Raphael said astute breeders had worked out the best way to breed to Rubick, while trainers who were patient with the stallion’s progeny are being rewarded with talented three-year-olds.

Having served more than 500 mares in 2018 and 2019, Rubick’s biggest crops are currently two and three-year-olds and Raphael has little doubt the stallion’s tally of Stakes winners has the potential to grow at a rapid rate in the coming months.

“It’s so interesting that his progeny all have that same head and eye as him,” he said.

“Even as yearlings they walk out and I often know immediately that it’s a Rubick and they’ve got that presence about them a lot of the time as well.

“On the track he’s been really successful – his first few crops he had big books, although he didn’t have the royal families of the breeding shed.

“What he’s been able to do with those crops is quite incredible I believe and he keeps getting winner after winner.

“He doesn’t have the Stakes winners of a Snitzel or an I Am Invincible but he’s an overachiever for the horses that I thought he’d get off those first mares.

“A lot of that Encosta (De Lago) influence is coming through his pedigrees as well and if you’ve got a mare with a bit of length, this year at the yearling sales we saw breeders who have had the experience of previous years and seeing the way to breed to him and they were getting $200,000 and $300,000 yearlings.

“If everyone keeps breeding to him like that, we’re going to see a product that looks good and, like we’ve seen in recent months, they run.”