Super sprinter Lankan Rupee is still in contention for the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 4 despite sustaining some minor injuries from his unplaced run last Saturday.
The Mick Price trained Lankan Rupee was sent out the $3 favourite for the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on the weekend but found wanting over the concluding stages to finish four and a quarter lengths sixth behind the three year old Brazen Beau.
The five times Group 1 winner had previously scored a scintillating two and three quarter lengths wins in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 21 and look set for a very profitable Autumn Carnival.
Following a thorough inspection by the stable’s vets and chiropractor, Price has reported the giant gelding had a torn pectoral muscle and some inflammation around his stifles.
But the Caulfield trainer is confident his stable star will recover from the minor injuries and be back to his best for the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“While he trotted up sound yesterday (Sunday), my chiropractor went over him this morning and he has a torn off-front superficial pectoral muscle,” Price told racing.com.
“Both of his stifles were showing signs of inflammation so he’ll have both of them treated as well as his pectoral muscle treated.”
“Timing-wise he should be fine so he remains on course for the T.J. Smith.”
Price is willing to forgive Lankan Rupee for his worst performance since the Spring of 2013 and said the early slow pace of the Newmarket Handicap wasn’t in his favour which caused him to overrace a bit.
“The first 400m was run six or seven lengths slower than last year’s Newmarket and I think my horse pulled because of the slow sectionals,” Price said.
“Regardless of that he was disappointing and his last 200m was that of a horse whose action was not right.”
Lankan Rupee will clash again with Newmarket Handicap placegetters, Brazen Beau, Chautauqua and Terravista, in the T J Smith Stakes which will no doubt attract more than the nine runners that went around at Flemington last Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Brazen Beau now heads the market order for the T J Smith Stakes at $4 with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of Chautauqua at $4.20 and Terravista $4.40.
Lankan Rupee is now a $5.50 chance of winning back to back T J Smith Stakes after scoring a dominant win over Rebel Dane and Buffering on a very track last year.