Australia’s Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee will no longer travel to Perth on the 22nd of November for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot; instead the gelding will be sent to the paddock in a bid to change riding tactics for next year’s autumn campaign.
Lankan Rupee was third in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on Saturday, leading the race for much of the 1200m before Terravista and Chautauqua sped past him right at the end.
The five-year-old gave a brave performance, doing the entire bullocking work, but Lankan Rupee’s trainer Mick Price doesn’t want the gelding to be the “bunny” anymore – leading the race and allowing his gun rivals to come home at the last minute.
“I’m not making any excuses. He was beaten by two very good horses,” Price said via TVN.
“I think in the autumn we just need to have a rethink how we ride him. Certainly, I don’t want to be the bunny for those two cannonballs sitting off me.
“I thought Chad (Schofield) rode him well. The horse is so brilliant out of the gates — he would lead any 1000-metre race in Australia if you asked him to.
“He’s just got to learn to come back in a 1200-metre race to help him make the last 400 metres the best he can do rather than sitting there as a bunny for two really gun horses.”
When Lankan Rupee’s owner decided he should go to the paddock Price was more than happy to go along with the plan, withdrawing the gelding from the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes.
Lankan Rupee has had a great spring campaign all-in-all, with first three finishes from all four of his starts, including a win in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m). However the gelding was beaten at the post in his three other starts, the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m), Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m), and Saturday’s Darley Classic.
Price highlighted a need for different tactics.
“He’s a fully conditioned horse. He had a hard run, but he pulled up like good athletes should,” Price continued.
“He’s well, he’s sound. He’s bright, he could go around again, but he’s going to the paddock.
“He’s had a good prep — he won a Group 1 and was close up in all his other three runs. He had two gun sprinters sitting off him yesterday and he was collared in the last 100 metres.
“He was pretty brave. He’s one of the really good sprinters in the country.”
52 other sprinters remain in contention for the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes, with the final field set to be released next Wednesday, November 19.
With plenty of classy interstate horses that have been significant on the spring campaign circuit alongside some of Perth’s homegrown talent, the Winterbottom Stakes will be an exciting race to watch.
Get your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account open and ready to place your bets.