Five times Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee might have plenty of class on his side but will benefit greatly fitness wise from his first race start in twelve months when he lines up in the Group 2 $200,000 Dilmah For Lovers Of Tea Caulfield Sprint (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Lankan Rupee hasn’t raced since running third to Alpha Miss in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last October and is listed as a $9 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au
Regular rider Craig Newitt can see Lankan Rupee facing a tough task first up with 61kg but does have the advantage of drawing the inside barrier in the eleven horse field.
“It’s going to be a big ask with 61 kilos against horses down in the weights that are rock-hard fit but hopefully class will take him a long way,” Newitt said.
“He just needs to go to the races and get it out of his system. He’s a handful to ride at the moment. He’s just bouncing out of his skin.
“Whatever he does he’ll improve on going into the Darley Classic but I would still think he’ll be highly competitive on Saturday.”
Trainer Mick Price is delighted with the way Lankan Rupee has recovered from arthroscopic surgery to repair a hock problem and is glad to see him get back to the races.
“His rehab has been fantastic,” Price said.
“I know him pretty well and he’s pretty happy with himself.”
Smart sprinter Our Boy Malachi from the Team Hawkes stable is the nearest runner to Lankee Rupee in the weights and will carry 57kg with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
Our Boy Malachi will have to use his early speed to overcome barrier eleven but will be fitter for one run back from a spell for a nose second to Takedown in the Group 2 $300,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 1 and is on the second line of betting at $5.50.
The Darren Weir trained Hellbent is the $2.15 favourite and is stepping up in class as he chases a hat trick after winning a 1005m BenchMark 84 Handicap at Sale on September 11 followed by a win in an 1100m Handicap at Caulfield on September 24.
Hellbent has drawn just worse than midfield at barrier seven with Craig Williams taking the ride again.
Market order for the Caulfield Sprint at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.15 Hellbent, $5.50 Our Boy Malachi, $6 Wild Rain, $9 Faatinah, Lankan Rupee, $14 Viddora, $19 Ruettiger, $41 Take Pride, $51 Sunday Escape, $67 Grane, $81 Orujo.