Lankan Rupee to headline Bletchingly field

The reappearance of former Australian Racehorse of the Year Lankan Rupee looms as one of the features of the final Group race of the local racing season.

The Mick Price-trained multiple Group One winner is set to resume from a lengthy lay-off in Saturday’s Group Three Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) on his home track at Caulfield.

He has not raced since his fourth in the Darley Classic last spring but has had two recent jump-outs to boost his fitness levels ahead of a return in the weight-for-age sprint which is set to include Supido and the in-form Ability.

The highly talented Supido resumed with victory in the Group Three Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday week while the Robert Smerdon-trained Ability is unbeaten in his three starts this preparation since being gelded.

Ability’s latest win was in the Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final at Flemington.

“He hasn’t missed a beat since,” Smerdon said.

“We were open-minded whether to give him a break but thought he was ticking over and I looked at the Monash Stakes and thought that was probably going to be the race barring one or two more. So he’ll line up.”

Melbourne premiership leader Craig Williams is booked for Ability.

Trainer Mick Kent will decide after the Bletchingly whether to stretch Supido out to 1400m to chase a coveted Group One win in the Memsie Stakes or keep him to shorter sprints in races such as the Moir and Manikato Stakes.

A number of runners from the Monash are likely to meet again with defending champion Lord Of The Sky fitter for his sixth in the Monash, his first start for 11 months.

The Brendan McCarthy-trained Murt The Flirt is also scheduled to run after his third in the Monash after settling last in the field of eight.

“If he had drawn a barrier I reckon he would have gone close to nearly winning,” McCarthy said.

“He jumped really well and then was going to get caught wide so he (jockey Chris Symons) elected to go back.

“He picked up nice ground in the straight and pulled up beautifully so we push on to the Bletchingly.”

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