Trainer Mick Price has called an end to Lankan Rupee’s Spring campaign and has sent the star sprinter to the paddock before preparing him for next year’s Autumn Carnivals.
Lankan Rupee ran another inspired race when a gallant third behind emerging sprinting stars Terravista and Chautauqua in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Price said that Lankan Rupee has acquitted himself well in his four Spring Carnival starts and has decided against a trip to Perth to run in the Group 1 $750,000 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot, Perth on November 22.
“He’s a fully conditioned horse. He had a hard run, but he pulled up like good athletes should,” Price told Racing Network.
“He’s well, he’s sound. He’s bright, he could go around again, but he’s going to the paddock.”
“He’s had a good prep — he won a Group 1 and was close up in all his other three runs. He had two gun sprinters sitting off him and he was collared in the last 100 metres.
“He was pretty brave. He’s one of the really good sprinters in the country.”
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.
But the super sprinter was back in the winner’s stall with an all the way win in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley prior to his run in the Darley Classic.
Lankan Rupee has been bouncing out of the barriers and either setting the pace or racing on the pace but Price is already considering a different racing pattern for the Redoute’s Choice gelding in the Autumn.
The multiple Group 1 winner was left in front on Saturday after shooting the gates with Chad Schofield in the Darley Classic and was then a sitting target for Terravista and Chautauqua.
“I’m not making any excuses. He was beaten by two very good horses,” Price said.
“I think in the autumn we just need to have a rethink how we ride him. Certainly, I don’t want to be the bunny for those two cannonballs sitting off me.
“I thought Chad rode him well. The horse is so brilliant out of the gates — he would lead any 1000-metre race in Australia if you asked him to.
“He’s just got to learn to come back in a 1200-metre race to help him make the last 400 metres the best he can do rather than sitting there as a bunny for two really gun horses.”
Price will be hoping for a repeat of this year’s Autumn Carnival in 2015 for Lankan Rupee who scored a Group 1 winning hat trick with wins in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield, the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.