A run in the restricted $10 million 2017 The Everest race this spring could be on the cards for Mick Price’s former champion sprinter Lankan Rupee.
The one time Australian Racehorse of the Year hasn’t raced since a fourth to Malaguerra in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Redoute’s Choice seven-year-old missed the entirety of the autumn, but is now back in work for the Caulfield-based Price who is happy with how the $4 million earner has come back.
“His action is great. He’s always been a great-actioned horse, he’s just had a couple of little niggling injuries, he had one in a hock and then he tweaked a high suspensory ligament but he’s beautiful in the action and I don’t look at him as an older horse as he’s only had 26 starts,” Price told Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
At his peak, Lankan Rupee topped the world’s sprinting ranks winning five Group 1 events over 1000m – 1200m.
His last turf triumph was the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1100m) in February of 2015, but Price believes the horse is still capable of top level racing.
“If he turns up in any 1200m race fit and without any injuries he can be competitive with the best of them, no problem,” the horseman said.
He has named the $10 million The Everest (1200m) in October at Randwick Racecourse as a possible target should connections be willing to buy their way into the weight-for-age event that is now the world’s richest turf race.
“He won the T.J. Smith up there [in Sydney in April of 2014] and he’s a superb sprinter,” Price said.
“1200m is great for him and he just has to stay sound.”
Price has no plans to race Lankan Rupee until the spring, taking his time getting the galloper back to full fitness.
“He’ll have a long, slow, safe preparation but he’s bouncing around here like a two-year-old and looks terrific,” he said.
“I haven’t spoken to the owner Mr Yaseen about a specific target for him and we haven’t got a slot in The Everest, but it will be interesting.”
Triple TJ Smith Stakes champion Chautauqua currently leads the all-in The Everest betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au at $4.60.
Golden Slipper winning filly She Will Reign ($8) and the world’s best horse Winx ($8) are also being kept safe by the bookies in futures The Everest racing odds.
Lankan Rupee meanwhile is currently listed as a $26 shot to make The Everest field and beat home all his rivals.
Check out the full The Everest 2017 odds online now at Ladbrokes.com.au along with the other top early spring racing markets.