Talented sprinter Lankan Rupee stamped himself as the favourite for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) with a dominant victory in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield this afternoon.
Lankan Rupee was taken straight to the lead by jockey Craig Newitt and dominated throughout; racing away to score a very comfortable victory from talented three-year-old Iconic and the consistent First Command, while Better Than Ready only worked home fairly to finish fourth.
Trainer Mick Price has been delighted with the form of Lankan Rupee since he was gelded at the end of his autumn campaign last week and believes that the son of Redoute’s Choice is an excellent winning chance in the Oakleigh Plate.
“He is a big strong, horse; last prep was his first as a gelding and you saw how consistent that he was,” Price said after the race.
“I think that he is on the right path; he had one trial leading into today and he wasn’t screwed down to win first-up.
“He loves Caulfield and I think that we will appear in the Oakleigh Plate, the Newmarket and then the William Reid.
“He has only been in work for about eight weeks and I think that there is good improvement to come.
“I wanted him to have a good hit-out today so that I don’t have to do too much with him going into the Oakleigh Plate and I think that he is going to be a live chance.”
Jockey Craig Newitt has partnered Lankan Rupee to his past three victories and, like Price, has been thrilled by the progress that he has made and is excited to partner him in the Oakleigh Plate.
“He has just furnished into a pretty serious race horse now,” Newitt said.
“He has just got to use his good cruising speed that he has got to roll along because he can accelerate really good off it.
“He will be thrown into the deep end next time and I think that he will be hard to run down.”
Newitt is chasing his second win in the Oakleigh Plate after winning the 2006 edition of the race with Snitzel.
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2014 Rubiton Stakes Finishing Order
|1||3||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||–||4||57kg||$2.90F|
|2||7||ICONIC||Tony McEvoy||Brenton Avdulla||3.75L||1||53kg||$16|
|3||4||FIRST COMMAND||Anthony Freedman||Stephen Baster||3.95L||8||56kg||$26|
|4||1||BETTER THAN READY||Kelly Schweida||Ric McMahon||4.15L||2||57kg||$4|
|5||8||DIAMOND OASIS||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||5.15L||3||53kg||$16|
|6||6||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||Glen Boss||6.15L||6||53kg||$4.20|
|7||5||POCKET ROCKETS||Tony McEvoy||Damien Oliver||8.65L||5||56kg||$11|
|8||2||EXCELORADA||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||11.4L||7||57kg||$71|