The 2014 Newmarket Handicap odds of Lankan Rupee have lengthened in the past 48 hours, but jockey Chad Schofield remains confident that the impressive sprinter can record his second straight win at Group 1 level.
Lankan Rupee was favourite when Newmarket Handicap betting markets opened at the start of the week, but the talented gelding is now on the third line of betting behind stablemate Samaready ($4.60) and last year’s winner Shamexpress ($4.60).
Schofield will be having his first race ride on Lankan Rupee in the Newmarket Handicap and he told Racing Ahead that he feels privileged to be offered a chance to partner the in-form son of Redoute’s Choice in a Group 1 event following his impressive wins in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8 and the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
“He is just hitting his straps at the right time and I am really grateful to be getting on him now,” Schofield said.
“He seems to be improving and getting better all the time and he is quickly turning into one of the best sprinters in the country.
“The way he is fancied in the Newmarket tomorrow suggests that.
“I am really looking forward to the race and I am going in pretty confident.”
Schofield received his first opportunity to sit on the back of Lankan Rupee last Saturday and said that he could not be more impressed with the nature of the four-year-old who was gelded before the start of his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“I rode him on Saturday morning and again on Tuesday,” Schofield said.
“He is just a lovely relaxed horse and from all reports he never used to be; he was quiet fierce and keen early on as a colt.
“It has clearly turned his mindset around and it is proving dividends.”
Schofield will be making his debut in the Newmarket Handicap tomorrow, after missing the ride on Aeronautical in the 2013 edition of the race due to suspension, but has plenty of experience in races down the famous Flemington straight.
The Cox Plate winning jockey believes that Lankan Rupee will receive a lovely run into the race from barrier 13 and is hopeful that the Mick Price-trained sprinter can reproduce the impressive turn-of-foot he exhibited in both the Rubiton Stakes and the Oakleigh Plate.
“We have a couple of speedsters in Flamberge and Va Pensiero next to us, so hopefully we can get a nice little trail off them and when I produce them he can be as devastating as he was in the Oakleigh Plate,” Schofield said.
Lankan Rupee is currently available at Newmarket Handicap odds of $5 and is also on offer at a quote of $14 in T.J. Smith Stakes betting markets.