Former number one ranked sprinter Lankan Rupee can push for a slot in the $10m The Everest if he can return to his brilliant best form when he resumes in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 29.
Lankan Rupee is on the road back from a leg injury and pleased trainer Mick Price with a tidy third in a 700m jump out at Caulfield this morning and the master trainer is contemplating giving the rising eight year old one more jump out before stepping out in the Bletchingly Stakes.
“He needs to be fitter, he needs to be more tuned-up,” Price told racing.com.
“He’ll line up (in the Bletchingly) without having a winning expectation and take it from there.”
Regular rider Craig Newitt was aboard Lankan Rupee in this morning’s hit out and was happy with the way he stretched out over the final stages.
“This morning was his first trial in a long time,” Price said.
“He is fit enough to trial, and I’m going to think about running him in the Bletchingly Stakes.
“I’m not saying he’s fit enough to win the Bletchingly, we just needed to know that he’s happy to hit-out in his trials.
“And according to Craig Newitt he was happy with that part of it and he was happy with his last furlong.
Lankan Rupee hasn’t raced since running fourth to Malaguerra in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the last day of the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival and is on the comeback trail following an operation to repair some damage to his hock and Price said that he has been bringing the giant gelding along slowly in is preparation.
“We’ve had him in work a while but we’ve been slowly but surely bringing him back,” Price said.
“We’ve nursed him along gallop by gallop.
“He had an operation on his hock, which was just a bit of a clean-up there.
“Raceday tells all but at this stage I am happy enough with him.”
A good first up performance in the Bletchingly Stakes would go a long way towards Lankan Rupee securing a slot in The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 which is over the same the course distance as the Group 1 $2.5m T.J. Smith Stakes that Lankan Rupee won in 2014.
Lankan Rupee is the winner of five Group 1 races but has been dogged by injury over the last couple of seasons and is currently listed at $26 for The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Randwick 1200m specialist and champion sprinter Chautauqua heads The Everest’s market order at $4.80 just ahead of Aidan O’Brien’s undefeated three year old Caravaggio at $5.50 and Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign at $8.
Early market order for the 2017 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Chautauqua, $5.50 Caravaggio, $8 She Will Reign, $10 Winx, $13 English, $15 Russian Revolution, $15 Houtzen, Spieth, Vega Magic, $17 Lady Aurelia $21 Fell Swoop, Limato, Vega Magic, $26 Acapulco, Black Heart Bart, Lankan Rupee, Bound For Nowhere, Mecca’s Angel, Redzel, Terravista, $34, Global Glamour, Malaguerra, Music Magnate, Takedown, $41 or better the rest.