Fortuna Filly RUBICON CROSSING scores a brilliant win at Mornington at her Australian debut

There was plenty to like about the fresh-up win by Rubicon Crossing (3 f Rubick – Miss Foxwood, by Fastnet Rock) in the $50,000 Benchmark 64 1000 metres for three-year-old fillies on Saturday at Mornington, Victoria. Having her first race day start in Australia, after being a debut winner of the first two-year-old race last season at Wanganui, Rubicon Crossing finished second in both the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) and Wellesley Stakes (Listed, 1100m), and stretched out nicely for close fourth in a trial on 29 August at Waipa.

Ridden by Harry Coffey, a Group One winning apprentice, Rubicon Crossing (known as “Cube” around the stable) made her hefty impost (61kg) appear featherweight as she engulfed the field and raced away to win by nearly three lengths.

“It was a great fresh-up win,” said trainer Mark Walker, following an enthralling track record performance by stable-mate Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) to nab her sixth Group One victory in the Moir Stakes (Gr. 1, 1000 metres) on Friday night at Moonee Valley. “She’s not very big, but she’s got good fighting qualities and I think we learnt something today about the best way to ride her, settling off the pace and she really attacked the line. I don’t think that will be her last win and there’s just so many suitable races for her over here.”

On Good3 footing, Rubicon Crossing ran 1000 metres in 57.5 and paid $5.20 & $2.60 on the NZ TAB tote.

Click HERE to see the race replay

Owned by the Fortuna Rubicon Crossing Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin), she was purchased for $120,000 by David Ellis CNZM and Fortuna Racing at the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, from the draft of Attunga Stud, Scone, NSW.

“The feedback we were getting from Ben Gleeson (assistant trainer) was that the field came up a bit stronger than we were anticipating,” John Galvin said from his Hamilton home after the race. “But she had done everything right since arriving at Cranbourne. They had worked on a few things over there, with some gear changes related to a high head carriage, so they’ve been working her in a bungee which helps keep her head down. We were confident she was going to run okay and the plan was always to run her with cover. Mark (Walker) had been saying that for a while and although she stepped a bit slow today it worked out well and you probably wouldn’t have wanted to be on any other horse as they turned for home. She showed a really good turn of foot -maybe not as impressive as Imperatriz on Friday night, but nevertheless it was reasonable carbon copy and Harry (Coffey) was quite glowing in his post race assessment. We had sent her to Australia so that she can contest these sorts of races (1000 – 1100m), there’s so many of them and we are thinking she probably now deserves a crack on a Saturday at one of the city tracks (Caulfield, Flemington, Moonee Valley).”

RUBICON CROSSING – Winning at Mornington 30th September 2023 – Harry Coffey aboard

By a good sire of two-year-olds, Rubick (Encosta de Lago), from a Fastnet Rock (Danehill) mare who won twice at 1400 metres, her grand-dam, Foxwood (Centaine), won the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and Captain Cook Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m).

Her third dam, Delia’s Choice (Sir Tristram), is a sister to four-time Group One winner Sovereign Red, who included the Australian Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) and Victoria Derby (Gr. 1, 2500m), and Gurner’s Lane, winner of the Caulfield Cup (Gr. 1, 2400m) and Melbourne Cup (Gr. 1, 3200m).

It is also the family of NZ-bred Australian star galloper Mr Brightside (Bullbars), a dual winner of the Doncaster Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m) among four Group Ones.

Rubicon Crossing is raced by the Fortuna Rubicon Crossing Syndicate with an Ownership Group of 50 individuals with Members from New Zealand, the USA and Australia