Adam Blencowe has Lankan Rupee and Terravista on top of his 2014 Manikato Stakes tips and the leading form analyst is happy to back both sprinters at their current odds.
Lankan Rupee stamped himself as the highest rated sprinter in the world when he scored three wins at Group 1 level during the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival, but he is yet to record a win this preparation after finishing second in both the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on September 26.
Blencowe admits that Lankan Rupee has performed well short of his best in his two race starts to date this preparation, but believes that the Redoute’s Choice gelding can return to winning form in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley tonight.
“I think that good speed is an important point to look at and that might be the key for Lankan Rupee,” Blencowe told TVN.
“I read this morning that Mick Price is thinking about being very positive on him early, which I think is a real key because last time they held-up on him for a long time in a slowly contested race and it probably got him beat.
“When he is at his best he is free flowing and he can power away from his rivals as opposed to quickly sprint off a dime.
“I think that if they roll forward tonight he is the horse to beat again.
“I know that he has been a little disappointing around the Valley, but I am going to put it down to tempo tonight and I think it is going to really suit him.”
Blencowe has a big opinion of a number of horses in the Manikato Stakes field, but rates Joe Pride-trained Terravista as the major danger to Lankan Rupee.
Terravista started his spring preparation with back-to-back wins in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September on September 20 and Blencowe said that the Captain Rio gelding has the talent to record a win at the highest level of racing.
“There is obviously terrific depth to the race, but I think that Lankan Rupee is the champion in the sprint division and Terravista is the one,” Blencowe said.
“It has been great to hear Joe Pride talk it up about coming here and taking on the champ and his long run figures suggest that he can really give a race like this a shake.
“I expect him to give Lankan Rupee a good race tonight.”
Lankan Rupee is currently available at 2014 Manikato Stakes odds of $3.80 and is a narrow favourite from Terravista ($4), Buffering ($5.50) and Rebel Dane ($8.50).