The Robbie Griffiths trained mare Angelic Light caused a major upset in downing the world’s highest rated sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley today.
Jockey Craig Newitt had Lankan Rupee sitting outside the leader Eloping coming to the home turn but couldn’t hold out the strong finishing Angelic Light in the drive to the line.
Ryan Maloney was able to get the best out of Angelic Light ($21) as Lankan Rupee ($1.22) found wanting at his first run back from a spell to record a narrow win.
Eloping ($9) with Linda Meech in the saddle did a good job to hang on for third, two and a quarter lengths away.
Winning trainer Robbie Griffiths didn’t contemplate beating the short priced favourite today but was very pleased with the unexpected result and will head to Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep A.J. Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 26.
“I didn’t expect it, you would be silly to say you did to beat the world’s best sprinter,” Griffiths said.
“I was very happy with her first up run and I thought we were a real chance of running second and would have been delighted with that.”
“To see her dig deep and topple the world’s best sprinter was very exciting.”
Angelic Light was only having her second run back from along break due to a tendon injury and had the benefit of a run under her belt when third to Iconic in the Listed $120,000 1Print Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on August 23.
“We were all dressed up and ready to go last Spring and a week before we did she had a tendon sprain and everyone had to be patient and being a mare had to make the big decisions to got off to stud and those things.”
“I was delighted to draw barrier one and box seat. If we could run second today we can line up in three weeks time and run top three in the Group 1.”
“Now we will have to go into the Group 1 with a bit more confidence.”
Maloney was very pleased to be able to get back aboard Angelic Light after missing out on her first up run because of suspension when Michael Rodd took over the reins.
Jockey Craig Newitt was disappointed that Lankan Rupee was beaten first up but could offer no excuses but expects him to strip much fitter in the A.J. Moir Stakes .
“Just devastating he got beaten,” Newitt said
“The 100m he just raced a little bit fresh. The winner’s had the run under the belt and nabbed me in the last couple of strides.”
“My bloke had a really good blow and no doubt he is going to improve and he will come back here in three weeks.”