Lankan Rupee stamped himself as the best sprinter in the world with a dominant victory in the 2014 TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Lankan Rupee was taking winning form into the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes, after winning the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in impressive fashion, but there were question marks over how he would handle the wet track – concerns which were quickly proved to be unfounded.
The son of Redoute’s Choice jumped from the gates brilliantly and took a surprising lead from Buffering and maintained that position for the entire race; racing away from the rest of the field in the final stages of the race to record a Black Caviaresque victory.
Trainer Mick Price admitted that he was extremely concerned about the wet track heading into the T.J. Smith Stakes, but was clearly delighted by the way that Lankan Rupee handled his first run on a rain affected track.
“I was very concerned obviously and barrier one, but I just left it up to Craig,” Newitt said.
“It was not our plan to lead b, but that is what the good jockeys do, they make their own decisions in the Group 1 and that is what Craig did and he had the horse underneath him.
“It is obviously a really heavy track and it just gives him another dimension to being a 1200 metres sprinter.
“If I kept him in, and I’m not going to, and he ran in the All Aged then he would be very hard to beat because it is a test of stamina and sprint and the horse has obviously got this great big motor sitting in him.”
Craig Newitt missed the ride on Lankan Rupee in the Newmarket Handicap, after electing to ride stablemate Samaready, and was quick to pay tribute to owners Teeley Assets, who allowed him to reunite with the four-year-old.
“I have to be very thankful to the owners, obviously it is well documented that I picked Samaready in the Newmarket and we all know what happened there, and they showed their loyalty, which there isn’t a lot left in the industry and I couldn’t thank them enough,” Newitt said.
Newitt partnered Lankan Rupee throughout his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, which was highlighted by a strong win in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on November 16, and has been left dumbfounded by the improvement that he has shown this preparation.
“I truly believe that he can go anywhere in the world now and be dominant,” Newitt said.
“He wasn’t all that comfortable in the ground today and once he flew the gates I just let him toe me into the race for as long as he could and he was getting a little bit leg weary on the line, but he had them well and truly covered.
“Before his major operation he was always a pretty handy horse, but he has just gone to a whole new level.”
Newitt will have the chance to record a second win at Group 1 level when he partners My Kingdom Of Fife in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile and you can still get the best odds for the Group 1 event at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Sign-up and deposit at Ladbrokes.com.au to receive a free bet worth up to $250 that can be used to back the winner of any event during The Championships.
|1||3||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||–||1||58.5kg||$3.80F|
|2||5||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Glen Boss||2L||5||58.5kg||$9|
|3||1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||2.1L||2||58.5kg||$10|
|4||6||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||3.5L||3||58.5kg||$19|
|5||13||SEE THE WORLD||Joseph Pride||Christian Reith||3.6L||12||58.5kg||$61|
|6||2||GORDON LORD BYRON (IRE)||Tom Hogan||Craig Williams||3.7L||8||58.5kg||$5.50|
|7||8||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||4.6L||11||58.5kg||$26|
|8||18||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||James McDonald||5.6L||9||54.5kg||$10|
|9||17||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||6L||13||54.5kg||$8.50|
|10||11||SESSIONS||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6.9L||14||58.5kg||$26|
|11||10||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Tim Clark||7.6L||6||58.5kg||$41|
|12||14||SNITZERLAND||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||8.6L||15||56.5kg||$16|
|13||15||STEPS IN TIME||Joseph Pride||Blake Shinn||9.3L||10||56.5kg||$21|
|14||7||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Chad Schofield||10.4L||7||58.5kg||$51|
|15||12||AERONAUTICAL||Lionel Cohen||John Kissick (a)||11.8L||4||58.5kg||$101|