Lankan Rupee was the $3 favourite to win the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday, however the race didn’t go as planned for the defending champion, who dropped out of running and finished sixth (of nine).
The Mick Price-trained gelding was vetted following his four and a half length loss to Brazen Beau and his examination this morning revealed he tore a muscle in his chest and showed signs of inflammation in his stifles.
“While he trotted up sound yesterday (Sunday), my chiropractor went over him this morning and he has a torn off-front superficial pectoral muscle,” Price told Racing Victoria this morning.
“Both of his stifles were showing signs of inflammation so he’ll have both of them treated as well as his pectoral muscle treated.”
“Timing-wise he should be fine so he remains on course for the T.J. Smith.”
Price revealed that despite the injury, there is no risk of Lankan Rupee missing the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 4, where he will vie for back-to-back victories in the $2.5 million race.
Even without the injuries Price doesn’t think Lankan Rupee would have suited the 2015 Newmarket Handicap due to the lack of speed, which caused the gelding to over-race.
“I think Joao Moreira (on the winner Brazen Beau) out-rode the other jockeys,” he said.
“The first 400m was run six or seven lengths slower than last year’s Newmarket and I think my horse pulled because of the slow sectionals.
“Regardless of that he was disappointing and his last 200m was that of a horse whose action was not right.”
Lankan Rupee is already a five-time Group One winner and won the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) in a fantastic two and three-quarter length win first-up on February 21.
The gelding was very impressive in the TJ Smith Stakes last April, winning two lengths ahead of Rebel Dane with Buffering a further short half-head away in third. He was away well from the inside gate and went to the lead before easing out to the middle of the track on the turn. He kicked further ahead at the 300 metres and got to the line well for a dominant win.
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