Lankan Rupee is set to return to the races in the 2014 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 6 after he recorded a dominant victory in a jump out over 800 metres at Caulfield this morning.
The early morning fog in Melbourne made it very difficult to follow the progress of Lankan Rupee in the jump out, but trainer Mick Price said that the triple Group 1 winner jumped from the gates strongly before running away from the rest of the field when asked for an extra effort by jockey Craig Newitt.
Price told Racing Victoria that he was happy with the effort of Lankan Rupee and confirmed that the son of Redoute’s Choice would have a testing trackwork gallop at Moonee Valley before making his highly anticipated return to the races in the McEwen Stakes.
“I think he’s right on target he’ll have another gallop on Saturday and on Tuesday next week he’ll go to Moonee Valley for a gallop so he can get on the float and get a bit excited,” Price said.
“I’ll probably take Lion Of Belfort there too and Lion Of Belfort can lead him up and they’ll have a good half-mile gallop.
“I don’t think there’ll be any excuses for him first up and I reckon he’s pretty spot-on.”
Lankan Rupee was kept under a stranglehold by Newitt when he was beaten by Hazard in a barrier trial over 800 metres at Cranbourne last week, but the leading Melbourne hoop gave the five-year-old the opportunity to show his outstanding turn-of-foot in the jump out this morning.
“From the barriers I got him out and got him running and he travelled well on the heavy track,” Newitt said.
“I shook him up with about a furlong left and he let down well, it was a good hit-out.”
Lankan Rupee stamped himself as a horse to watch when he took out the Listed Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on November 7 and the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival before he took the Australian sprinting ranks by storm during his autumn campaign.
He started his autumn preparation with a win in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8 and claimed his maiden win at Group 1 level in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at the same venue on February 22 before taking out the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March and the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
Lankan Rupee will have plenty of chances to add to his Group 1 winning record during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival; with the Moir Stakes (1200m), Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Darley Classic (1200m) on the agenda for the leading sprinter.