The king is back

Mick Price is pictured with stable star Lankan Rupee - the gelding's love-heart shaped star on his forehead clearly visible.
Mick Price is pictured with stable star Lankan Rupee – the gelding’s love-heart shaped star on his forehead clearly visible.

Lankan Rupee is back in work and trainer Mick Price must be counting down the day’s until his star sprinter returns to his Caulfield stables.

The world’s highest-rated sprinter will spend the next month pre-training before returning to Price’s Caulfield base where the trainer plans to take a slow and steady approach to the gelding’s fittening routine.

Price has planned a five-race campaign for his stable star, with the McEwan Stakes at Moonee Valley his first port of call, followed by the Moir Stakes and then the Manikato Stakes.

The VRC Sprint Classic on the final day of the spring carnival on November 8 is then a target, after which Price has indicated both the Winterbottom Classic in Perth on November 22nd, and the Hong Kong Sprint on December 14th are the two options for the gelding’s final run of the year.

No doubt racing fans in Western Australia would love to see the star gelding make the trip to Perth. Black Caviar, who was the world’s highest-rated sprinter when she was set to contest the Winterbottom in 2011, missed her intended trip to Perth after needing to be spelled following her victory in the VRC Sprint Classic that same year.

While Lankan Rupee has been enjoying a spell since winning the T J Smith on April 12th, trainer Mick Price has not had time to stop for a breath, keeping busy with a stable full of other exciting horses.

On Saturday at Mooney Valley, Price’s runner Fast and Free took out the last race on the card, beating race favourite Akavoroun by nearly one-and-a-half lengths. The five year old gelding has been a great stable stalwart, winning or placing in ten of his fourteen starts.

Price has trained more than fifteen other winners from his Caulfield stable since Lankan Rupee’s last run, including Stakes winners such as Moonovermanhattan, Pressing and Cailin Miss. He has had a host of two and three year olds recently shed their maiden tags, amongst them Cuban Lass and Kwanza, the stable’s most recent winners.

With or without the presence of a superstar such as Lankan Rupee in his stable, it is clear the next winner is never too far away where Mick Price is concerned. This season he has so far produced the winners of 96 races, 16 of those Stakes races, from his Caulfield base.

This post was first published on on June 11, 2014