Trainer Mick Price has revealed that Lankan Rupee was found with bone bruising to his off-hind fetlock that could explain his poor performance in the 2015 T.J. Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 6.
Lankan Rupee started his 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing campaign with an explosive victory in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 21, but he was unable to replicate that performance in either the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at the same venue on Flemington 14 and the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m).
Price sent Lankan Rupee for Scintigraphy scans following his T.J. Smith Stakes flop and the leading Melbourne trainer told AAP that the examination had found an issue.
“It’s a difficult diagnosis which only comes from scintigraphy,” Price said.
“He had a bit of bone bruising on his off hind fetlock where he had an operation as a foal apparently, which I didn’t know about at the time.
“At least we have a reason to give him a nice spell and see how we go.
“He’ll come back in the spring.”
Lankan Rupee had four race starts during his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign that was highlighted by a tough victory in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and Price said that the five-year-old was unlikely to have that many starts when he returns to racing towards the end of this year.
“I don’t think he’ll have many starts in the spring,” Price said.
“He’s not a machine and is showing some signs of wear and tear even though he’s been fairly lightly raced.”
Lankan Rupee made his Australian racing debut in September of 2012 and he was competitive at stakes level as a younger horse, but he went to another level when he was gelded ahead of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding stamped himself as a sprinter to watch when he took out both the Listed Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on November 7 and the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on November 16 before he was awarded Australian Horse Of The Year after he took out the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m), Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and T.J. Smith Stakes during an exceptional autumn campaign.
Lankan Rupee has recorded 11 wins from his 23 race starts to date and has accumulated almost $4 million in prizemoney for connections.