Oakleigh Plate winner Lankan Rupee has emerged as the next sprinting star after a scintillating win in the Group 1 sprint at Caulfield today.
Lankan Rupee can now seriously challenge stablemate Samaready and Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning winner Snitzerland as the country’s top speedsters after he treated his opposition with contempt in the $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
While Snitzerland will miss the Newmarket Handicap, Lankan Rupee and Samaready are set to clash in the famous $1m Group 1 1200m sprint down the Flemington straight on March 8.
And with winning rider Craig Newitt to stick with his favourite mare Samaready, the coveted Newmarket ride on Lankan Rupee will become available.
“They will probably both meet in the Newmarket now so I reckon the ride on Lankan Rupee is available now, if Samaready goes, Craig rides Samaready,” winning trainer Mick Price said.
A slight change of riding tactics for Lankan Rupee saw the four year old sit just off the pace with Newitt opting out of an early speed battle with Kuroshio and Minaj.
“We just changed the riding a little bit for eighteen runners and I think he got absolutely perfect,” Price said.
“You can get into a lot of trouble in those sort of races, good pace in front of him and he is a good horse and deserves his Group 1.”
Price puts Lankan Rupee newly found winning form down to the fact that he was gelded which has resulted in him winning five races from his last six starts.
Newitt had Lankan Rupee ($4 favourite) travelling smoothing behind the leaders and shortly after easing into the clear at the top of the straight the four year old exploded away to score a one and a quarter lengths win over Queenslander Spirit Of Boom ($16) and Knoydart ($5).