After a brilliant win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) on Saturday, five-year-old gelding Lankan Rupee has won all three of the big autumn sprint races.
Trainer Mick Price is now considering stepping Lankan Rupee out beyond 1200 metres for the first time, and the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival may just be the place to do it.
Doomben Racecourse will play host to two Group One races over 1350 metres during the carnival, both with lucrative prize money on offer.
A three-run autumn campaign is already set for Lankan Rupee. The gelding will head to the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington 14 where he will reignite his rivalry with Terravista before defending his title in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 4.
If Lankan Rupee still has gas left in the tank after that, Price will consider a trip to Brisbane.
“I think he’d do it on his ear,” Price told Racing Victoria about the gelding’s ability to run a strong 1400m.
“Especially as he gets a bit seasoned, and that’s why I’m thinking about Brisbane and those 1350-metre races at Doomben.
“He’s having three runs (to start with), but he’s still going to be full of himself as a gelding. He’s got plenty of weight on him and he’s perfectly sound, so I think those distances will be part of what we do.”
Before stepping up to 1400m, Lankan Rupee would be tested over 1350m in both the $750,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23 and lucrative $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) on June 6.
If Price wants to give the gelding a freshen-up between the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes and 2015 Doomben 10,000, the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) will run at Doomben on May 9.
Lankan Rupee dominated the small-field 2015 Black Caviar Lightning on Saturday, beating his closest rival Brazen Beau by a whopping two and three-quarter lengths, proving once and for all why he’s the world’s highest-rated sprinter.
Brisbane racing fans would definitely be keen to see Lankan Rupee in the flesh during the winter.
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