Voting for the 2013/2014 Australian Racehorse Of The Year Award will take place at the end of the racing season and Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter believes that champion sprinter Lankan Rupee would be a worth winner of the award.
Lankan Rupee started his 2013/2014 racing season with a win in a benchmark 78 event at Moonee Valley on October 4 and showed rapid improvement to finish his campaign with three outstanding wins at Group 1 level in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m).
Carpenter told Racing Ahead that there is no doubt that Lankan Rupee will finish the season as the highest rated horse in Australia and based on his assessments deserves to be considered Australian Horse Of The Year.
“People look at the same thing and see it differently,” Carpenter said.
“I am very much about international ratings and for me the horse that has run to the highest mark, as long as they haven’t done it on just occasions, delivers them as the best horse of the season.
“He has run to the highest mark in the grand final of sprints here in Victoria, in the Newmarket Handicap and then he has gone to Sydney and beaten the best under very best conditions.
“For me he would be a very worth horse of the year winner.”
While Carpenter would be happy to see Lankan Rupee take out the award, there have been plenty of members of the racing media and public that believe retired stayer Fiorente deserves to win the award.
Fiorente won both the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) before he had his career prematurely ended by injury and he also scored impressive wins in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m).
Carpenter said that none of Fiorente’s individual performances were at the same level as Lankan Rupee’s wins in the Newmarket Handicap and T.J. Smith Stakes, but revealed that he can completely understand why Fiorente will receive plenty of votes for Australian Racehorse Of The Year.
“Fiorente was a superstar of the spring and the autumn and for me his CV in Australia was outstanding,” Carpenter said.
“When people cast their vote for horse of the year they look for different things.
“Lankan Rupee is a world-class sprinter and Fiorente is a horse that won at weight-for-age over 1600 metres, won the Melbourne Cup and won our premium weight-for-age race in the autumn over 2000 metres.
“On a body of work I wouldn’t decry anyone that marked their vote for Fiorente, nor would I for anybody that voted for It’s A Dundeel.”
Carpenter also expects there to be support for Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner It’s A Dundeel and glamour mare Atlantic Jewel.
Equine superstar has won the past three Australian Racehorse Of The Year awards and a male horse has not taken out the title since Scenic Blast was voted as champion for the 2008-2009 season.