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Craig Newitt is enjoying his stint in Hong Kong, winning his first Group race on Sunday, however the champion hoop is not about to miss the chance to partner the world’s highest-rated sprinter in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) this Saturday at Flemington.
Newitt will fly back into Melbourne this weekend to reunite with Lankan Rupee in the gelding’s first run of the autumn, and couldn’t be more excited.
The hoop has been keeping a close eye on Lankan Rupee’s build-up to the 2015 Lightning Stakes with Dale Smith and can’t wait to return to the saddle.
“I have been speaking to Smithy quite regularly and he hasn’t said one bad word about him,” Newitt said.
“His trials have looked really good and his exhibition gallop the other day at Caulfield looked outstanding.
“He looks ready to rock and roll.”
No one can claim Lankan Rupee won’t be fit for his return this Saturday after winning a jump-out at Caulfield on February 3, a trial at Cranbourne on the 9th, and enjoying an exhibition gallop during Saturday’s CF Orr Stakes Day.
Lankan Rupee’s trainer Mick Price has been teaching the gelding to settle a bit more in his races, wanting him to deliver his best in the final 400 metres.
“I think Mick has got the right plan,” Newitt said.
“If it eventuates that we can take a nice sit just in behind the speed, he’ll show the good turn of foot that we all know he’s got and he looks pretty forward, so he goes to the races in full health and hopefully he gets the right run and can win.”
Lankan Rupee is the $2.30 second favourite in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes futures betting at Ladbrokes.com.au after winning 16 of his 20 career starts. The gelding won all four of his starts last autumn, including three Group One races.
Team Hawkes’ Deep Field is the current favourite at $2.10 after winning all five of his career starts last year.
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