Given the choice, Kerrin McEvoy would have picked a different barrier for his Coolmore Stud Stakes mount.
Yet in Sydney-trained Rubick, the jockey knows he is on the right horse.
The regally-bred Rubick chases a valuable Group One in Saturday’s star-studded race for three-year-olds and the Gerald Ryan-trained colt has done nothing but impress McEvoy.
McEvoy jumped at the chance to ride Rubick and guided him to a weight-for-age win in the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield.
“He has drawn barrier one which wouldn’t have been my first preference for a barrier but we’ll make do with what we’ve got,” McEvoy said.
“I’ll speak to Gerald and walk the track, but as far as the horse is concerned he’s in great order.”
McEvoy rode Rubick in a solo gallop down the Flemington straight last Friday and said it was like the colt had been there before.
“He gave me a good feel when he quickened up the last 400 metres and he ran smart time coming home,” McEvoy said.
“It’s a really strong race, and we’ve got to go there in tip-top shape and hopefully I can give him the right run to win.”
Rich Enuff, winner of the Danehill Stakes at Flemington in slick time over the 1200-metre course earlier in the spring, is the $3.20 favourite.
The Ken Keys-trained colt has been kept fresh since his brave second in the Caulfield Guineas three weeks ago.
He jumps from barrier 10 while second favourite, the Joe Pride-trained Kuro ($6) will start on the opposite side of the track to Rubick in gate 16.
Brazen Beau, who shares the third line at $6.50 with Rubick, has also drawn close to the grandstand side in gate 15.
McEvoy rates Kuro and Rich Enuff as the two hardest to beat but admitted it was a great race with plenty of chances, including Blue Diamond winner Earthquake who he rode to victory in a Group race at Caulfield last start.