Superstar sprinter Lankan Rupee came through another test with full marks when he scored a come from behind impressive jump out win at Caulfield this morning.
Trainer Mick Price is keen to see Lankan Rupee ridden off the pace this preparation and jockey Dale Smith had the giant sprinter settled back in the pack in the jump out before unleashing him in the straight to run away for an easy win.
The top Caulfield trainer was very happy with the performance and said that the four time Group 1 winner was on track for his return to racing in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 21.
“He’s still got a bit of a tummy but we have set about this preparation to ride him a little quieter,” Price told Racing Network.
“He has to come up against some very good horses and maybe this is the best way to tackle them.”
“He is being prepared for the Lightning Stakes then the Newmarket and the T. J. Smith in Sydney.
“It doesn’t seem like a lot of racing but they are all big, tough races and he seems right on track.”
Lankan Rupee is showing no signs of the hoof problems that dogged him in the early part of his Spring Carnival campaign last year and Price is keen for him to defend his titles in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 and the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 4, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
“His feet are fantastic, he has the normal plates on with no quarter cracks and they have all grown out,” Price said.
“The horse is super in himself and I am super happy.”
Lankan Rupee only added one Group 1 victory to his record from four runs during the 2014 Spring Carnival with a win in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October and was then sent to the paddock after finishing third to Terravista and Chautauqua in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8.
Last season’s horse of the year was beaten at his first Spring Carnival run as a short priced favourite when a narrow second to Angelic Light in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley and was beaten again as favourite when second to Buffering in the Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley again.
Lankan Rupee stamped himself as the best sprinter in the world during last year’s Melbourne and Sydney Autumn Carnivals after scoring a Group 1 winning hat trick with victories in the $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield, the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington and the T J Smith Stakes at Randwick.
Regular race day rider Craig Newitt is currently riding in Singapore on a six month contract but has gained a release from the Singapore Turf Club to travel back to Australia to partner Lankan Rupee for his three Autumn Carnival engagements and will be back in Melbourne for the Black Caviar Lightning on February 21.
In early Newmarket Handicap market order with Ladbrokes.com.au Lankan Rupee in on the fourth line of betting at $7 behind Darley Classic quinella Chautauqua at $4.20 and Terravista at $4.80 and undefeated up an coming sprinter Deep Field at $5.