Jockey Craig Newitt is confident that Lankan Rupee will be at peak fitness in the 2014 Manikato Stakes after he galloped strongly at Caulfield this morning.
Lankan Rupee was ruled out of the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) after suffering a minor hoof injury a fortnight ago, but has bounced back from the setback and remains on track to contest the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Trainer Mick Price planned to give Lankan Rupee a jump out at Caulfield this morning, but was instead forced to settle with a testing trackwork gallop for the Redoute’s Choice gelding and Newitt told Sky Racing HQ that the five-year-old had come out of the work with flying colours.
“We had quite a bit of rain overnight and the steeple grass where they were going to trial on had probably 30 to 40 horses gallop on it throughout the morning and it cut right out,” Newitt said.
“We thought that it would be better if we put him on the course proper and gave him a good solid hit-out and that is what we did.
“I can’t notice anything with the issue that he has had.
“His work was probably as good as it could be; he sat probably five or six lengths off a partner and he picked it up and beat it very, very easy.
“He ran nice time, he has pulled up great, he had a good blow obviously and he had a really good gallop.
“As far I can see his foot is no problem and he is going to go into the race as good as we can have him.
“I’m sure he will run well.”
Lankan Rupee started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an upset loss to Angelic Light in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and he suffered another surprise defeat when he was beaten by Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on September 26.
Newitt remains confident that Lankan Rupee is still as good as his was when he stamped himself as the highest rated sprinter in the world during the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival and said that the tight-turning Moonee Valley circuit is the only query for the triple Group 1 winner.
“He has been beaten a nose and a short half head in his two races,” Newitt said.
“We walked away gutted, but the horse has still run exceptionally well.
“He is a horse that obviously has a high profile now and I am sure that he won’t let us down when we go back to the races.
“He is an identical horse and the only thing that I can point to is that he is a couple of lengths below his best at Moonee Valley.”
Lankan Rupee is currently available at Manikato Stakes odds of $4 and is on the second line of betting behind Gilgai Stakes winner Chautauqua ($3.80).