The world’s former best sprinter, Lankan Rupee, has come in for early support for his return to racing at Caulfield in the Bletchingly Stakes.
The rising eight-year-old resumes in Saturday’s weight-for-age 1200m feature, his first start since last spring and just his fourth run in the past two years during which he has been beset by various injuries.
He opened at $6.50 with TAB fixed odds on Wednesday to take out the 2017 Bletchingly Stakes but a day later had tightened to $4.50 on the second line of betting behind last-start Monash Stakes winner Supido ($3.60).
Lankan Rupee has won five Group One races including three in successive starts during a memorable 2014 autumn campaign which elevated him to the position of the highest-rated sprinter in the world.
Jockey Craig Newitt has been aboard Lankan Rupee for most of his biggest wins, including four at Group One level, and is pleased to have the gelding back at the races.
“He’s been a good horse to me,” Newitt said.
“So it would just be nice to see him come back and win another race.”
Newitt has been happy with Lankan Rupee’s two jump-outs and while he expects him to run a good race first-up he also expects him to improve on whatever he does on Saturday.
“He has trialled up well and his track work has been good,” Newitt said.
“He’ll be a bit ring-rusty but that’s to be expected. Whatever he does he’ll improve on.
“He’ll run well. He never runs badly.
“It’s just his fitness might give out late.”