One time the world’s best sprinter Lankan Rupee can climb his way back to the top of the rankings with trainer Mick Price eyeing off a start in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.
Lankan Rupee was rated the best sprinter in the world in 2014 following a hat trick of Group 1 wins in the $400,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield, the $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and the $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the Autumn.
But the seven year old has been battling a string of injuries and hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since taking Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Price said that Lankan Rupee has brushed aside all his injury concerns and the fact that he has won over the same course and distance as The Everest with is win in the T J Smith Stakes is a great advantage for him.
“He won the T J Smith up there (in Sydney) and he’s a superb sprinter. 1200m is great for him and he just has to stay sound,” Price told racing.com.
“His action is great. He’s always been a great-actioned horse, he’s just had a couple of little niggling injuries, he had one in a hock and then he tweaked a high suspensory ligament but he’s beautiful in the action and I don’t look at him as an older horse as he’s only had 26 starts.
“He’ll have a long, slow, safe preparation but he’s bouncing around here like a two-year-old and looks terrific.”
“If he turns up in any 1200m race fit and without any injuries he can be competitive with the best of them, no problem.”
Price’s only problem is that that he will have to find a sponsor for Lankan Rupee to take his place in the twelve horse field with all the slots for The Everest already being secured.
“I haven’t spoken to the owner Mr Yaseen about a specific target for him and we haven’t got a slot in The Everest but it will be interesting,” Price said.
Lankan Rupee is currently rated as a $26 chance for The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua as the early $4.60 favourite after the grey flash won his third T J Smith Stakes in succession on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 1.
Early betting for The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Chautauqua, $8 She Will Reign, Winx, $11 English, Russian Revolution, $15 Houtzen, Spieth, $21 Black Heart Bart, Fell Swoop, $26 Acapulco, Lady Aurelia, Lankan Rupee, Limato, Mecca’s Angel, $34 or better the rest.