Five-time Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee will return to work today ahead of a 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign that will likely be geared towards the featured Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington in early November.
Returning this year for an impressive three length win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) on February 21st, Lankan Rupee was unable to match the late pace of standout three-year-old Brazen Beau when sixth in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 14th and has not been seen at the races since fading late for ninth in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Thrilled with the way the Redoute’s Choice gelding has taken to his time in the paddock, trainer Mick Price is confident of a return to devastating form through the Spring Carnival.
“He’s had a good spell, we’ll cross fingers and see if he can bounce back and come up,” Price told Racing Victoria.
“He had a nice break; he put on plenty of weight (and) he looks great in the coat.
“I left him in New South Wales at Tamarind Park for the better weather as I didn’t want to bring him back.”
Yet to settle on a specific course of action, Price said the 2015 Darley Classic will more than likely figure as the major target for the rising six-year-old, who placed third behind Terravista and Chautauqua in the event in 2014.
“I’d say the Darley Sprint will be his main goal,” he said.
“It’s difficult in the spring for him as a lot of those lead-up races are at Moonee Valley.
“I had a bit of difficulty with him even though he was great at Moonee Valley last year with two seconds and a win from three starts as he’s a better horse on bigger tracks.”
Undoubtedly finding career-best form to date over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Lankan Rupee won the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at a jog first-up before taking out each of the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Newmarket Handicap and TJ Smith Stakes in succession.
Running second in each of the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) and Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) upon resuming in spring, the gelding out of Estelle Collection returned to the winner’s circle in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on October 24th, in what was his only other competitive start prior to the Darley Classic.