Trainer Mick Price has revealed that star sprinter Lankan Rupee is still a chance of contesting the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 21.
Lankan Rupee has been the star sprinter of the autumn to date, taking out both the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in dominant fashion, and could have a number of opportunities to add to his growing Group 1 tally in the next month.
Price said after Lankan Rupee’s impressive Newmarket Handicap victory that he is likely to take the son of Redoute’s Choice to Sydney for the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, but the leading trainer told RSN yesterday that he was considering giving the four-year-old another run in Melbourne in the William Reid Stakes.
“He’s sound and he’s pulled up perfectly,” Price said.
“He’s trotted up good and he ate up well.
“I did have a plan to give him seven to ten days in the paddock, which I’m probably going to stick to, but it is tempting to go to the William Reid with him before he goes to Sydney.”
Price could have two of the leading contenders in the William Reid Stakes; with classy mare Samaready set to back-up in the Group 1 event, despite finishing a disappointing sixth in the Newmarket Handicap on Saturday.
Samaready failed to show her usual acceleration when asked for an extra effort by jockey Craig Newitt and Price admits that he was puzzled by the performance of the daughter of More Than Ready.
Price is hoping that a return to Moonee Valley, where she won the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) in dominant fashion during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, will help Samaready recapture her best form and give him an excellent opportunity of scoring his maiden win in the William Reid Stakes.
“I wanted her scoped after the race and she scoped up clean,” Price said.
“She was perfectly ridden and I don’t know, she was a no show and maybe sixth was the best she could have done.
“She’s perfectly sound, she looks great and she left a double handful of feed this morning.
“We’re thinking we’ll go to the William Reid with her in the hope that she’ll be better around a corner, maybe the straight six just dragged the sprint out of her I don’t know.”
Lankan Rupee ($3.60) is currently on the third line of 2014 TJ Smith betting markets, while Samaready is available at a quote of $9.