Victorian trainer Patrick Payne likes to have a lot of things in his favour when he comes to Sydney and believes he has just that as Rubisaki returns to Randwick for the Winter Stakes on Saturday.
The Rubick mare is unbeaten in the harbour city, where two of her three wins have come on heavy ground, and Nash Rawiller has been in the saddle for her two group 3 victories in the PJ Bell Stakes and James Carr Stakes last year.
The classy mare has found the step up to open company tough and has not won since, but she has had three placings, including third in the group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes.
“This race just looked like a logical choice, especially when the wet weather looks like it is coming through,” Payne said. “She won the $1 million Inglis race up there on a very heavy track, and she is advantaged on wet ground because it doesn’t affect her performance.
“She will go up for the last run of a good preparation and have a nice spell in the warmer weather after this race. She is going really well and I think she is still furnishing into a very good racehorse.“
After her three-year-old year, Rubisaki was injured in the spring but has worked her way back into form in 2021.
After her group 1 placing in Adelaide, she has put together a couple of runner-up finishes at Flemington behind Yulong January and Dice Roll at her past two, where she has looked the winner both times.
“She will give a burst and then she is out. The last two runs, the winners have just been that little stronger than her to the line,” Payne said. “She is able to give that burst for about 250m and then she will hang on. It’s just her.“
It is where Rawiller will be crucial to victory in the Winter Stakes as he attempts to navigate from a wide draw on the $4 favourite.