The world’s equal highest-rated sprinter Lankan Rupee is looking super according to trainer Mick Price ahead of his first-up autumn assignment in the 2015 Lightning Stakes next month.
A four-time Group 1 winner, the Redoute’s Choice gelding was a sprinting revelation last autumn in both Melbourne and Sydney.
Lankan Rupee won all four of his autumn assignments including a trio of Group 1 victories with success in the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap in Melbourne before his successful Sydney debut winning the TJ Smith Stakes in the wet at Randwick by a big two lengths.
During the spring the five-year-old superstar returned in excellent order with two close seconds, including behind Queensland great Buffering when a nose away in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m), and then his fourth elite level in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Lankan Rupee was last seen running a length away third behind Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8 when he lead until the closing stages when grabbed late by the winner and the Team Hawkes-trained runner-up Chautauqua.
The Darley Classic trifecta are now all bound for the top Group 1 autumn sprints and are likely to clash all throughout their campaigns.
First-up for Lankan Rupee, as confirmed by price again on Friday morning when speaking to Sky Sports Radio, is the $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington Racecourse on February 21.
To help bring him on for that resuming run Price has scheduled a trial next Tuesday morning, the galloper and his famous feet in top order.
“He trials Tuesday and then the following Tuesday it’s off to the Lightning Stakes first-up,” he confirmed.
“His feet are fantastic…no quarter cracks.
“The horse is supper in himself so we are really happy.
“He’s going great.”
The reigning Australian Racehorse of the Year is also down to defend his title in the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) back at the track on Super Saturday, March 14, before a trip to Sydney for The Championships.
Then another title defense is on the cards, Price looking to clean up in the lucrative $2.5 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Doncaster Mile Day, April 4.
Futures TJ Smith Stakes betting markets are now open online at Ladbrokes.com.au with Terravista the $4.60 favourite ahead of the Chautauqua ($5) and stable mate Deep Field ($6).
Lankan Rupee then rounds out the single figure chances in the all-in TJ Smith Stakes odds at $8, a price that will be cut dramatically if he wins the Lightning Stakes first-up next month.
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