The world’s top rated sprinter Lankan Rupee will look to atone for an embarrassing first-up loss at Moonee Valley over the weekend when he runs again in the Moir Stakes 2014 back at the track on September 26.
Mick Price’s Redoute’s Choice gelding, a triple Group 1 winner during the autumn, started in the red at an odds-on price of $1.22 in the Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) on Saturday.
Taken forward from the outside barrier (9) by jockey Craig Newitt the five-year-old controlled the race early with everything looking to go to script.
That was however until the field in the weight-for-age sprint hit the top of the straight and Newitt asked Lankan Rupee to let down.
Instead of his scintillating finish produced to win the Oakleigh Plate, Newmarket Handicap and TJ Smith Stakes last season however Lankan Rupee fell flat.
He was a sitting shot then for the late comers and was nailed over the final 30m by Robbie Griffith’s 20-1 outsider Angelic Light, the classy mare having just her second start off a 15 month injury enforced spell.
Newitt said post-loss that he wouldn’t have changed anything about the run however and that Lankan Rupee would be fitter next time out.
Price agreed and, while obviously disappointed with the McEwen Stakes result, he was confident his stable ace could return to Group 1 winning form next start after a run he called “fantastic”.
“I thought he ran fantastic, I think he’s in for a good prep,” he told the Racing Network on Sunday.
“I didn’t want to get beaten yesterday, but that’s how the race was run.”
That next start is scheduled for two weeks’ time back at the Valley in the $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) under the lights on Friday September 26.
Price has always had the Moir Stakes on the agenda for Lankan Rupee and confirmed plans hadn’t changed after the galloper pulled up sound after the McEwen.
“He looks good, he’s not tucked up. He ate up good, he’s got a good constitution,” Price said.
“I think if he draws four not nine and has a slightly softer run, he wins (the Moir).”
Also on track for a Moir Stakes run is upset McEwen Stakes winner Angelic Light, runner-up to Platelet at Group 1 level in Adelaide last year, with Griffiths also happy with how she pulled up after Saturday’s showdown.
“Her legs are cold, she’s as bright as a button,” he said.
“We thought if we could run a close-up placing it would give us confidence to go on to the Moir and maybe run top-three in a Group 1.”
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