Lankan Rupee Will Not Contest 2014 Winterbottom Stakes

November 10th, 2014

Initially touted for a trip west following his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival in Victoria, trainer Mick Price has confirmed star sprinter Lankan Rupee will return to the paddock instead of contesting the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot Racecourse on November 22nd.

Lankan Rupee will not contest the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Lankan Rupee will not contest the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Returning to racing in career best form this year, Lankan Rupee won three Group 1 crowns over the Autumn Carnival, and while taking out the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) this time in, has failed to reach the same impressive racing heights.

Breaking clear of the main pack before being hunted down by eventual winner Terravista and Chautauqua in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington last weekend, Price told TVN he was pleased with the performance of returning jockey Chad Schofield, but conceded a return to the paddock and rethink of tactics is the best option for the son of Redoute’s Choice ahead of the 2015 Autumn Carnival.

“I’m not making any excuses. He was beaten by two very good horses,” Price said.

“I think in the autumn we just need to have a rethink how we ride him. Certainly, I don’t want to be the bunny for those two cannonballs sitting off me.

“I thought Chad rode him well. The horse is so brilliant out of the gates — he would lead any 1000-metre race in Australia if you asked him to.

“He’s just got to learn to come back in a 1200-metre race to help him make the last 400 metres the best he can do rather than sitting there as a bunny for two really gun horses.”

“He’s a fully conditioned horse. He had a hard run, but he pulled up like good athletes should,” Price said.

“He’s well, he’s sound. He’s bright, he could go around again, but he’s going to the paddock.

“He’s had a good prep — he won a Group 1 and was close up in all his other three runs. He had two gun sprinters sitting off him yesterday and he was collared in the last 100 metres.”

Securing a commendable total of ten wins and a further six minor places from just 20 competitive appearances on course so far, Lankan Rupee was unable to strong together much of a consistent run of form until his gelding at the conclusion of his 2013 autumn preparation.

Winning the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) first-up this year, the gelding out of Estelle Collection claimed honours as the world’s leading sprinter after completing an incredible run of victories in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m).

Finishing second in both the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) and Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) leading into the Manikato, Lankan Rupee is likely to be set on the same path during the 2015 Autumn as that contested this year.

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