FIVE-time Group one winner Lankan Rupee returns to racing after spending the last year sidelined by an injury and bookmakers have it at double-figure odds.
The Mick Price-trained gelding hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield last year and although the seven-year-old will likely find it tough to win Saturday’s Caulfield Sprint, Sportsbet’s Will Byrne is hoping the champion can return in style.
“Punters are used to taking short odds about Lankan Rupee. His last race at double figure odds ($15) was the 2013 Heffernan Stakes. We have our fingers crossed that he can win on Saturday. He’s been such a great sprinter and would have the wood on these horses if he’s right,” Byrne said.
Lankan Rupee is an $11 chance at Sportsbet with the majority of money being placed on $2 favourite Hellbent after it opened as high as $2.25.
Craig Newitt, regular rider for Lankan Rupee, indicated that its work has been good leading into the Caulfield Sprint, but is remaining cautious about the idea of winning.
“He is flying but he’s got to give good horses a lot of weight,” Newitt said.
“He’s pretty right but he hasn’t raced for 12 months and there’s nothing like race fitness.
“He’ll definitely run top four but it’s just a matter of whether he can give everything weight and beat them.”
The son of Redoute’s Choice is ideally drawn in barrier one which will give Newitt the chance to sit just off the pace and launch late.
“You’ve got a stack of speed there so he’ll probably just camp on the back of them,” Newitt said.
“At the moment, he’s good but we haven’t really let him off the chain but he’s given every indication he’s come back well.”
2016 Caulfield Sprint updated market
1. Lankan Rupee – $11 at Sportsbet
2. Our Boy Malachi – $5.50
3. Faatinah – $11
4. Wild Rain – $5.50
5. Hellbent – $2
6. Grane – scratched
7. Ruettiger – $21
8. Viddora – $17
9. Take Pride – $41
10. Orujo – $81
11. Sunday Escape – $61