Lankan Rupee may have been defeated by Hazard in the opening barrier trial at Cranbourne this morning, but jockey Craig Newitt was still happy with the effort of the star sprinter.
Newitt has partnered Lankan Rupee in the majority of his race starts, despite famously electing to ride Samaready over the five-year-old in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), and is set to ride the world’s highest rated sprinter throughout his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Lankan Rupee was not asked for an extra effort by Newitt in the 800 metre barrier trial and the leading Melbourne hoop said that he was happy with the feel that he received from the son of Redoute’s Choice.
“He was really nice,” Newitt said.
“He was only there to have a leisurely down out and get out of the stables for a while.
“He was his usual self, he flew the gates, put himself on the speed, travelled nice and he went to the line untested.
“He was only there to stretch his legs and have a good blow, which is what happened and he will trial again next week.”
Lankan Rupee is set to return to the races in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and Newitt is confident that the triple Group 1 winner will be close to peak fitness for his spring kick-off point.
Newitt is confident that Lankan Rupee can return to the form that he showed during his incredible autumn campaign and he expects the classy galloper to be hard to beat in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m), Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
“I am sure that he will have a bit more solid of a trial next week and then be ready to go,” Newitt said.
“He is a little bit tubby and I am sure after his next trial if we are a bit more serious on him he will have a better blow and that will just clean the cobwebs out for his final gallop before he goes to Moonee Valley.
“I don’t think he is going to improve a hell of a lot and I don’t think he needs to improve at all, he just needs to recapture his form from last preparation and he is going to be almighty hard to beat in whatever he runs in.”
Newitt is chasing his third win in the McEwen Stakes after previously winning the race with Miss Andretti (2006) and Kuroshio (2013).