Mick Price has made it known he expects star sprinter Lankan Rupee to return to the winner’s circle in tomorrow’s Group 1 Moir Stakes (1400m) and nothing less.
Facing just four competitors at Moonee Valley plus having the inside run on Buffering are too great an advantage to miss out on another win, according to the trainer.
Price didn’t beat around the bush with his expectations for his gelding who is odds-on favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au at $1.50.
“He’s got to win,” the trainer said to Sky Racing.
“I think Buffering is a great horse and a great sprinter, and a good Moonee Valley horse, but Lankan Rupee is there to beat him.
“I think with a lovely, robust, young sprinting horse on the way up, I’d be pretty disappointed if he runs second.”
Lankan Rupee was beaten to the post just a short head his last time out in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) after ending up in a speed battle with three-year-old Eloping and letting Angelic Light swoop in for a late challenge and win.
The mare is one of Lankee Rupee’s four rivals in the Moir but Price doesn’t see her as a threat again unless he gets locked in an early duel with $5.50 second-favourite Buffering.
“The worse thing that can happen is if they get locked into eye-balling (each other) and neither horse can come back without strangling them, or neither horse can go forward without going too hard,” Price continued.
The trainer also revealed he is weighing up another run to add to his five-year-old’s 2014 spring racing preparation.
Lankan Rupee was set to follow his Moir run up with a tilt on the same track in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on October 24.
However Price is unsure about leaving the son of Redoute’s Choice with a four week break between runs. Thus he is weighing up a start in the Group 2 Scillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 11.
“It’s 28 days between the Moir and Manikato and I’ve just got a thought in my head that the horse might do to well in between,” said Price via Racing.com.
“I don’t want to be too precious with him he’s got to get the races and be hard-fit. I’ll just see how he does after Moonee Valley but with the way the horse is thriving at the moment I’m not ruling him out having another run.
“1100 would be ideal but being two weeks before the Manikato the Schillaci is probably the best option.”
There is also a chance the world’s highest rated sprinter could travel to Perth for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) following his final Victorian spring start in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8.
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