Lankan Rupee has produced an outstanding performance in the 2014 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington this afternoon to stamp himself as Australia’s newest sprinting star.
Lankan Rupee sat just off the speed in the early stages of the Newmarket Handicap and exploded when asked for an extra effort from Chad Schofield to record his second straight Group 1 victory from Spirit Of Boom and Knoydart – the same horses that finished in the trifecta in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) a fortnight ago.
Trainer Mick Price rated Samaready as the horse to beat before the Newmarket Handicap and was unsure whether Lankan Rupee was ready for the Group 1 event, but was clearly thrilled with the performance of the talented gelding and was quick to pay credit to the ride of Schofield.
“He rides beyond his years that kid,” Price said of Schofield.
“I had a talk to him before the race and I said don’t go out there and try to ride too scientific a race on him and just go with the flow.
“I think Chad rode him according to the horse and to suit the horse and the horse did the rest.
“I am just really pleased; this is the toughest sprint in Australia just about and he has found sixth gear and blasted away.”
Owner Iris O’Farrell indicated that a trip to Royal Ascot could be on the agenda for Lankan Rupee, but Price said that his major goal for the son of Redoute’s Choice was the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 – a race that is now the richest sprint event in the world.
“I think that we are off to Sydney and I don’t think that they have $2.5 million races overseas do they,” Price asked.
“We don’t have to do England with him and I think that all roads lead to Sydney.
“Five weeks between runs gives me a chance to put him in a grassy paddock and reward the horse and give him a nice little break.
“He was outstanding, he really was outstanding.”
Chad Schofield was riding Lankan Rupee for the first time in a race and said that he was thrilled to record his second Group 1 win, after taking out the 2013 Cox Plate on Shamus Award, on the speedy gelding.
Schofield paid credit to the riding instructions he received from Price and said that Lankan Rupee gave him one of the best feels he has ever received from a horse.
“A big thanks to Mick; he didn’t tie me down with any instructions and just said to ride the horse how you feel.
“He travelled really, really strong for me in the first half of the way and I waited as long as I could and when I pushed the button he really dashed.
“I haven’t had a horse quicken like that for me before.”
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2014 Newmarket Handicap Results
|1||2||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Chad Schofield||–||12||56.5kg||$6|
|2||6||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||2.25L||5||55.5kg||$15|
|3||10||KNOYDART||Peter Snowden||Tim Clark||3.25L||4||52.5kg||$10|
|4||4||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||4.25L||3||56kg||$5.50|
|5||12||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||4.75L||11||52kg (cd 52.5kg)||$18|
|6||3||SAMAREADY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||5.5L||9||56kg||$4F|
|7||13||MISTER MILTON||Norman Waymouth||Darren Gauci||5.7L||8||52kg||$151|
|8||8||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||6.7L||14||53kg||$16|
|9||9||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Craig Williams||7.1L||13||53kg||$14|
|10||11||ALBRECHT||Peter Snowden||Chris Symons||7.85L||2||52kg||$41|
|11||7||GENERAL TRUCE||Ricky Maund||Dean Yendall||7.95L||10||53.5kg||$101|
|12||1||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||9.2L||7||58kg||$14|
|13||5||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Brad Rawiller||12.45L||1||55.5kg||$21|
|14||14||BERNABEU||John O’Shea||Glen Boss||17.95L||6||50kg (cd 50.5kg)||$26|