Lankan Rupee stamped himself as a sprinter to watch during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and trainer Mick Price is set to give the talented gelding another crack at Group 1 level in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
Lankan Rupee was gelded at the end of a somewhat disappointing autumn campaign and the ‘ultimate gear change’ has completely turned around his form; with the son of Redoute’s Choice recording three wins from four starts during the spring.
The four-year-old resumed with an impressive two and a half-length victory in the Mazda 55 Second Challenge (955m) at Moonee Valley on October 4 but was upset in the same event, after over racing early, three weeks later.
He returned to the winners stall with a narrow victory over Snitzerland in the Listed Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day before finishing his preparation with his maiden win at Group level in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on November 16.
Lankan Rupee spent four weeks in the spelling paddock following his Kevin Heffernan Stakes victory and Price told Racing Victoria that the four-year-old had started his preparations for the autumn yesterday.
Price revealed that Lankan Rupee will return to the races in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8 before returning to Group 1 level, for the first time since finishing eighth in the 2012 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m), in the Oakleigh Plate at the same venue two weeks later.
“He hadn’t trained off at all when we put him out in the paddock so that augurs well that he’ll come up well for his next preparation,” Price said.
“He would be a nice Oakleigh Plate type horse and I’m going to keep him to the sprints this campaign.
“He’s a big, strong honest gelding and I reckon his form was pretty good in the spring.
“It was a good win when he beat Snitzerland, she looked fantastic in the mounting yard that day and he’s just going to keep getting better and better as a four-year-old gelding.”
Price is hoping that Lankan Rupee can become the first horse since Spartacus in 1997 to complete the Rubiton Stakes/Oakleigh Plate double, while he is also chasing wins in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m), Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) with Samaready.