The weekend’s impressive Newmarket Handicap winner Lankan Rupee has firmed in the markets for their next assignment, the TJ Smith Stakes 2014, but didn’t impress quite enough to secure top spot in the futures odds.
Mick Price’s Redoute’s Choice four-year-old scored their second Group 1 win on the trot at Flemington on Saturday and is now headed for a third in the $1 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney.
After a succession of progressive victories throughout Melbourne, including a four length effort in the Group 2 Rubiton first-up at Caulfield, Lankan Rupee beat home Queenslander Spirit Of Boom (2nd) and up-and-comer Knoydart (3rd) in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 22.
In a rare event that winning trifecta was repeated on Saturday with the same three horses crossing in exact order in the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Victoria’s premier track.
Now the smart Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket double winner Lankan Rupee is headed for their shot at the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival riches, the TJ Smith Stakes next on the agenda.
While they did firm in their price to salute in their Sydney debut, Lankan Rupee ($5.50) still trails two other sprinters in the TJ Smith Stakes markets.
Favourite is the Chris Waller-trained Zoustar at $3.60 followed by $4.80 second pick Not Listenin’tome.
Northern Meteor colt rose through the ranks last campaign to become a dual Group 1 winning three-year-old thanks to their success in the Golden Rose Stakes and Coolmore Stud Stakes in Sydney and Melbourne respectively.
They’ve been in the paddock since early November after their breezy two length Coolmore win over Not Listen’tome having had two February trials at Randwick ahead of their return.
Coolmore runner-up Not Listen’tome meanwhile is from the Rosehill stables of father and sons training team John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes.
The Dylan Thomas gelding won their opening two starts last year at Bendigo then Ballarat before their rise to the big time.
After a four month break they returned to racing on Oakleigh Plate Day and scored an effortless four length win over Consorting in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m), form the bookies are tipping at this stage to stack up.
Rounding out the single figure chances in futures market for the Australian Derby Day classic are then the Rob Heathcote-trained triple Group hero Buffering ($6.50) and Lankan Rupee’s stable mate Samaready ($9).
Rising seven-year-old Queensland sprint star Buffering last raced in WA winning the Group 1 Winterbottom stakes in a fighting finish with Peter Moody’s Moment Of Change.
Moment Of Change franked that form this autumn coming back to take out the CF Orr Stakes – Futurity Stakes double before their failure in Saturday’s Newmarket when 12th to Lankan Rupee.
Four-year-old More Than Ready mare Samaready meanwhile ran sixth in the Newmarket following a first-up third to Snitzerland in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) last month.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest this autumn including ins and outs, and ups and downs in the TJ Smith Stakes field and odds.
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