Trainer Mick Price has revealed that the 2015 Darley Classic is set to be the major spring goal for Lankan Rupee ahead of the talented sprinters return to trackwork on Wednesday.
Lankan Rupee returned to his brilliant best to take out Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) during the 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing at Flemington on March 14, but he was unable to replicate that performance in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at the same venue on March 14 and Price revealed he was found with bruising to his off-hind fetlock after he beat home just a single runner in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
Price told Racing.com that he has given Lankan Rupee a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock in New South Wales and he is hopeful that the son of Redoute’s Choice can return to his best form during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He’s had a good spell, we’ll cross fingers and see if he can bounce back and come up,” Price said.
“He had a nice break, he put on plenty of weight (and) he looks great in the coat.
“I left him in New South Wales at Tamarind Park for the better weather as I didn’t want to bring him back.”
There was a great deal expected of Lankan Rupee heading into the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he was beaten as a short-priced favourite in both the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) and the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley before he returned to winning form in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and finished a credible third in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
Price does not plan on giving Lankan Rupee as lengthy a spring campaign in 2015 and at this stage he is centering his star sprinters preparation around a tilt at the Darley Classic at Flemington on November 7.
“I’d say the Darley Sprint will be his main goal,” Price said.
“It’s difficult in the spring for him as a lot of those lead-up races are at Moonee Valley.
“I had a bit of difficulty with him even though he was great at Moonee Valley last year with two seconds and a win from three starts as he’s a better horse on bigger tracks.”
Lankan Rupee has recorded 11 wins from his 23 race starts and has accumulated just under $ million in prizemoney for connections.