Mick Price has two of the leading chances in the 2014 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington this weekend and believes that classy mare Samaready may just have the edge over her talented stablemate Lankan Rupee.
Lankan Rupee has been the star sprinter of the autumn to date, claiming both the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) and Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in impressive fashion, while Samaready struggled early before working home strongly to finish third in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 15.
Price told RSN this morning that he has been happy with the preparations of both gallopers, but feels that Samaready is his best winning chance in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
“They have both had really good preps,” Price said.
“I sort of tossed and turned about Lankan Rupee and whether he should run or not and run in the William Reid, but one is worth a $1 million and one is worth $400,000.
“I am happy with both of them, they have done their work, they are hard fit and either of them can win if good enough.
“I think I would have to go for Samaready; she has sort of been there and done that.”
Samaready was run off her feet in the early stages of the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and Price admitted that heading into the race, he was not sure how the daughter of More Than Ready would fare over a fast-run 1000 metres.
Price is confident that Samaready will receive more comfortable run into the race over 1200 metres in the Newmarket Handicap and believes that she can score her third victory at Group 1 level, if she produces her best performance.
“I think that she has more depth about her over 1200,” Price said.
“She will travel in the race for a lot longer.
“In the Lightning she went 300 metres off the bridle because they started to quicken.
“1200 metres will be good; she will canter up on the bridle nicely and then it will be a sprint home.
“It is a hard race to win, but I am just really happy with her and she is going really well.
“She gets every chance and she will win if she is good enough.”
Price is chasing his first win in the Newmarket Handicap after previously missing the placings with Light Fantastic (12th in 2010), Gran Sasso (13th in 2010) and Chattanooga (12th in 2002).