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Without doubt the standout performer of the 2014 Autumn Carnival, trainer Mick Price and jockey Craig Newitt are confident of another memorable preparation for the world’s highest-rated sprinter Lankan Rupee through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival following a successful hit-out at Cranbourne this morning.
Returning to the track in typically impressive form this year, Lankan Rupee charged home to win the Group 2 Rubition Stakes (1100m) first-up on February 8th before securing three incredible victories at the highest level of Australian racing back-to-back; comfortably winning each of the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) most recently on April 12th.
While beaten to the line by 2014 Mannerism Stakes runner-up Hazard, Price said he has been pleased with the way the Redoute’s Choice gelding has taken to work in the lead-up to his likely return to competition in the Group 2 McEwan Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 6th.
“He’s had a nice preparation and he’s got another trial in front of him, probably at Caulfield next Tuesday,” Price told AAP.
Partnering the five-year-old to two of his three Group 1 victories over autumn, Newitt said he was pleased with the feel Lankan Rupee offered over the 800m trial and is expecting a return to similarly devastating form through spring.
He didn’t go overly hard today but he’s had a good blow and he’ll take good benefit from it,” Newitt said.
“The track was pretty heavy so we didn’t want to kill him on it.”
Revealing the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m), Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Darley Classic (previously VRC Sprint, 1200m) are all likely to figure for the gelding out of Estelle Collection this time in, Price said the form and class displayed by Lankan Rupee through autumn has him expecting another perfect season.
“I’m not looking forward to the day he doesn’t win,” Price said.
“I’d like to see him win every time I produce him.
“If he was a little bit vulnerable first-up I would accept that, but certainly in the Group Ones over 1200 is not where I want to see him being beaten.”
Contesting a total of nine wins and three places from just 16 competitive race starts so far, Lankan Rupee produced an impressive four race campaign through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; securing three wins and a minor place in what was his first preparation post-gelding.
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