Trainer Mick Price has sent out a warning to anyone believing they saw Lankan Rupee at his best with his narrow win in the stunning 2014 Manikato Stakes on Friday, which saw just over 1½ lengths separating the entire field.
Lankan Rupee fired out the gates to cross over and lead the field, despite drawing wide in barrier nine. He kicked on the turn and looked like he was going to miss out on his third consecutive race but managed to fight off a wall of seven rivals for the win.
Price is adamant his classy sprint star still has improvement to come and will be in peak form for his next start, the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8.
“We rode the horse to win that race in particular but that’s certainly not the way that horse will be ridden in the future, you have to think about every race individually,” Price told RSN Radio on Sunday.
“I have had a bit of a messy 28 days with him, with wiring quarter cracks, I probably missed two or three bits of work with him so I was concerned he may not have been 100 per cent race-tough fit.”
However Price had nothing to worry about in the end, as the gelding has come through the race “fantastic” unlike some of the other runners, including Buffering.
“He will have a good two weeks and I don’t think he has a lot of improvement in him but I think he will improve a bit for his run on November 8,” he said.
Lankan Rupee is currently on the second line of betting to win the Darley Classic at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au while Chautauqua is $2.80 odds-on favourite following his impressive four length victory in the Gilgai Stakes.
The superstar sprinter is in great form despite a quartercrack to his off hoof that saw him miss a tilt in the Schillaci Stakes earlier this month. The newly crowned Australian Horse Of The Year hasn’t placed outside the top three since May 2013 and will be one to watch next Thursday at Flemington.