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Best fancied to be crowned Champion Racehorse of the Year, Mick Price’s top rated sprint star Lankan Rupee could be Hong Kong bound at the end of their 2014 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign at the end of the year.
Caulfield-based Price has given the Redoute’s Choice four-year-old their early immunisation shots to keep Hong Kong on the cards after the $2.85 million earner rounds out their spring raid in the $1 million Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8.
“He received his first inoculation and came through it with flying colours,” Price told Racenet.
A winner of nine of their 16 starts the gelding is already a triple Group 1 hero thanks to their stellar autumn preparation.
They’re unbeaten since November last year winning their past six on the trot including a trio of elite levels from February – April.
After a four length romp first-up in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) in early February the galloper went on to break their Group 1 duck in the Oakleigh Plate over the same track (Caulfield) and distance a fortnight later.
They continued to race their way into the history books and Horse of the Year favouritism with another two Group 1 trophies.
The first was an easy two and a half length effort over Spirit Of Boom in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and then they travelled to Randwick a month later for another big win this time over Rebel Dane in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in the mud.
Price has their return scheduled for September 6 in the $175,000 Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley, Lankan Rupee already in pre-training ahead of that first-up target.
From there they will look to add three more Group 1s to the cabinet running in the $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) on September 26, the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and then the 2014 VRC Sprint Classic during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
After that Hong Kong Sprint will be considered, a target that will become especially desirable if they win the VRC Sprint Classic.
“He has four runs at Group level in Melbourne kicking off in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes on September 6,” Price confirmed.
“He will then run in the Group 1 Moir Stakes on September 26, the Group 1 Manikato on October 24 and the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic on November 8, before we really consider taking him to Hong Kong.
“If he managed to win the VRC Sprint the pressure would be on to contest the Hong Kong International Sprint in the Global Sprint Challenge.”
While Hong Kong is the preferred option, Price also hasn’t ruled out a trip west for the $500,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth on November 22 at Ascot, a race last year’s Manikato Stakes – VRC Sprint Classic winner Buffering went on to win.
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