Caulfield trainer Mick Price is hoping to have former star sprinter Lankan Rupee 100% and back to full fitness after an injury-enforced layoff in time for a shot at Flemington’s Darley Classic 2016 this spring.
The six-year-old Redoute’s Choice gelding hasn’t raced since his third to Alpha Miss in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at his home track in October last year.
His latest victory was in the Group 1 Lighting Stakes (1000m) down the Flemington straight in February last year, a track Price wants the $4 million to return to this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
A winner of 11 of his 24 career starts to date, Lankan Rupee is a five-time Group 1 winner and Price is on a mission to have him ready in time for this November’s $1 million Darley Classic (1200m) on the new-look Emirates Stakes Day on the first Saturday of November during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
He contested the race in 2014 running third to Terravista when beaten under a length on the back of a victory in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley two years back.
Currently the former Australian Horse of the Year is having a month off from rehabilitation for a hock injury, and Price is happy with Lankan Rupee’s progress following good reports back from a scintigraphy test nearly a fortnight ago.
“We’re just giving him a month on green grass now because he’s been boxed and doing all that rehab,” Price told RSN.
“I’m not sure if we can make the Schillaci into the Darley, or whether he goes into the Darley first-up.
“But he’s got about three more weeks in the paddock and then we’ll start a longer, slower, careful prep.
“If he gets one run or two runs (this spring), good.
“If not he’ll be cherry ripe for the autumn, hopefully.”
The Schillaci Stakes runs on October 6 and the Darley Classic a month later on November 5.
Should he make the former and win, he’ll be the first back-to-back Schillaci Stakes winner since the famous Black Caviar (2010-11).
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