Lankan Rupee confirmed today that he is the new sprinting star on the Australian Turf with an explosive win in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
The Mick Price trained Lankan Rupee made it back to back Group 1 wins after a similar performance in winning the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22.
And now Price is eyeing off the rich Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12 with a trip to England not on the radar.
“He’s a gelding and we don’t have to do England with him. I think all roads lead to Sydney,” Price said.
“$2.5m and five weeks between runs gives me a chance to probably put him in a green grass paddock and reward the horse and just give a nice little break and redo it for Sydney.”
Price was also quick to praise the winning ride of young jockey Chad Schofield who collected his second Group 1 win after winning last year’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Shamus Award.
“I thought this young jockey rides beyond his years that kid,” Price said.
“I had a talk to him before the race, and said don’t go out there too scientifically trying to ride a race on him. You know just go with the flow.”
And Schofield responded with a superb ride and had Lankan Rupee ($6) sitting just on the pace before letting him go at the 200m to run away to score a two and a quarter lengths win over Spirit Of Boom ($15) with Knoydart ($10) another length away in third spot to record the same finishing order as the Oakleigh Plate.
Stablemate of the winner Samaready started the $4 favourite and after making a challenge at the 250m, faded to wind up in sixth spot.