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After a shock first-up loss as a $1.22 favourite, Lankan Rupee is back with fitness back on his side for Friday night’s Moir Stakes 2014 at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Mick Price’s champion son of Redoute’s Choice earned honours of the world’s highest rated sprinter following a standout autumn campaign.
The now five-year-old enjoyed six consecutive wins from last November through until April this year including a Group 1 hat trick.
His elite level wins came in Melbourne with the Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket Handicap double, and then Sydney’s TJ Smith Stakes.
He was raging favourite then for his resuming run at Moonee Valley on September 6 in the Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m).
Flying out of the gates that day he set a flying pace but was nailed by roughie shot Angelic Light in the final 30 metres eventually getting run down and defeated a nose in an upset.
Jockey Craig Newitt said post-race he wouldn’t have changed anything about the race, except of course for the result, and was looking forward to continuing his association with the star in Friday’s Moir Stakes.
There he believes Lankan Rupee capable of an improved effort with the horse vulnerable last time out coming off the five month break, an impressive Moonee Valley hit out to sharpen him up scheduled for this morning.
“He’s done really well, you’ll see a fitter horse on Friday,” Newitt told The Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend.
“I think he’s nearing his peak and if we could just draw a nice alley to ensure we get a soft run, you’ll see a very good horse.
“He’s going to the Valley for his final hit-out before the race, but we’re very happy with him.”
It will be a supercharged Moir Stakes showdown too with Lankan Rupee to face 2010 winner Buffering who was runner-up to Samaready in the race’s inaugural running as a Group 1 race 12 months ago.
Lankan Rupee’s final piece of work at Moonee Valley this morning caught trainer Price’s eye, the horseman now more confident than ever the horse can bounce back and return to the winners’ stall.
“I’d be pretty confident he comes here on Friday night does his best and wins,” he told the Herald Sun after the horse finished ahead of stablemate Lion Of Belfort, the final 400m completed in 23.2 seconds.
“There will be no excuses for him. He’s improved a lot and will be hard to beat.”
Newitt added after the gallop that it was the best he’d seen the horse looking and performing.
“His coat was blooming,” he said.
“It’s the first time he had galloped smoothly the whole way.
“He usually gets on his Sydney leg. Even at his last start he got on his Sydney leg coming on to the course proper.”
Moir Stakes 2014 nominations are set for release shortly along with all the other entries for the night including the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) where Cox Plate hope The Cleaner will run for the first time since winning the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at the start of the month.
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