Lankan Rupee claimed favouritism for the Oakleigh Plate with an all the way in the Group 2 $175,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield today.
The Mick Price trained Lankan Rupee exploded to the lead out of the barriers and was never headed to score a runaway win and is now the number one pick for the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in a fortnight.
Lankan Rupee progressed up through the classes in the Spring and continued on his winning way with an exceptional first up win.
“Big strong horse. Last prep was his first prep as a gelding, you saw how consistent he was and I think he is on the right path,” Price said
“He had one trial leading into today, he hasn’t been screwed down to win first up, but I think that is just the sort of horse he is.”
“He loves Caulfield, obviously and I think we will appear in the Oakleigh Plate which will be good and then the Newmarket and the William Reid.”
Price has an ambitious Autumn Carnival mapped out for Lankan Rupee and after the Oakleigh Plate will head to Flemington for the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 8 and then to the Group 1 $400,000 Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 21.
Winning rider Craig Newitt gave favourite backers no worries as he had Lankan Rupee ($2.90) travelling like a winner from the jump and when he released the brakes in the straight, nothing else got close.
Three year old Iconic ($16) from the Tony McEvoy stable ran a nice race for second three and three quarter lengths away while First Command ($26) battled on okay for third after racing on the pace.