Despite being beaten first-up in a shock defeat, Mick Price’s top rated sprint star Lankan Rupee is sitting odds-on favourite again for his second run of the season in Friday night’s Moir Stakes 2014.
Run under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse, this weekend’s $450,000 Group 1 City Jeep A.J. Moir Stakes (1200m) is shaping up as a nice sprint showdown with Lankan Rupee the one to beat.
A triple Group 1 winner from the autumn, the talented son of Redoute’s Choice shot to fame with wins in Melbourne’s Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap, as well as the TJ Smith Stakes in Sydney.
First-up then off a spell he jumped $1.22 to win the Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m).
Resuming over the 1000m however he was vulnerable and was nabbed in the final stride by upset winner Angelic Light.
After a nice gallop at Moonee Valley on Monday morning, and a run under his belt to bring him on fitness wise, Price and jockey Craig Newitt are both confident Lankan Rupee can atone and blow them away on Friday evening.
The bookies look to agree including Ladbrokes.com.au where Lankan Rupee sits as the dominant $1.75 favourite in their all-in Moir Stakes odds.
There are then three other single figure hopes out for another upset over the champ with:
Angelic Light ($5) – Robbie Griffiths-trained Holy Roman Emperor mare coming off an upset win over Lankan Rupee in the McEwen Stakes. She had the fitness edge that day so could have a tougher time but is not without her claims. Won’t start at the same generous odds as last time after what she showed, will be digging deep but is a Group 1 runner-up when second to Platelet in Adelaide’s Robert Sangster Stakes last season and has an ace Moonee Valley record (5-3-1-1).
Buffering ($6) – Rob Heathcote’s triple Group 1 winning Queensland races first-up here. His record when resuming is very, very good (9-6-1-1) and he’s a three time winner at the track including the 2012 Moir Stakes (when the race was a Group 2). Ran in the event 12 months ago but could only manage to cross four lengths off Samaready in second. Went on for his trio of elite levels after that, however hasn’t won since November last year. Last time out was third in the Doomben 10,000 behind the ‘Boom Brothers’ but looks to be tracking well and Heathcote is confident.
Rebel Dane ([link text=”$9″]) – Gary Portelli-trained Sydneysider after his first win since the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 12 months ago. Has form at Moonee Valley when a length away fifth to Buffering in the Manikato Stakes last October but that’s been his only look at this track. Resumed in the Missile Stakes at Randwick on August 9 and was beaten under half a length for third. Looked to be gaining on the leaders so should be fitter for the run.
Just outside of those under $10 are then two more exciting mares Gregers and Sweet Idea both paying $11 at this early stage of Moir Stakes betting.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Commands four-year-old Gregers won the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) first-up but is looking to atone for a sixth behind Commanding Jewel last time out in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 13.
Sweet Idea meanwhile represents Gai Waterhouse and also won two back having defeated the boys, including third placed Rebel Dane, in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m).
Her latest run was then in Group 1 company at Caulfield on August 30 when runner-up behind Peter Moody’s gun Cox Plate-bound four-year-old Dissident in the Memsie Stakes.
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