Price thinks Rupee can be in the money

Craig Newitt on Lankan Rupee during Caulfield Guineas Day
Lankan Rupee has proved his fitness with a course proper gallop ahead of his return at Caulfield.

Since his reign as the world’s best sprinter, Lankan Rupee has had his share of problems but trainer Mick Price and his owners have patiently restored him to race fitness more than once.

The rising eight-year-old has lost his mantle to Chautauqua who has won the past three TJ Smith Stakes, the race that stamped Lankan Rupee as the world leader in 2014.

He is making his latest comeback in Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield after pleasing Price in a course-proper gallop at the track on Tuesday.

Lankan Rupee hasn’t raced since his fourth in the Darley Classic in November won by Malaguerra and has overcome problems with a hock.

“He’s been in work about four months,” Price told Sky Sports Radio.

“He had work done on a hock.He had a couple of hot spots.

“He’s had a lovely build-up through winter and a couple of trials which have been OK.

“He worked on the course proper this morning with Duke of Brunswick. Michael Dee rode him and said this is the best he’s felt.”

Price said the Bletchingly would determine whether his instincts Lankan Rupee might now be looking for further than 1200 metres were correct although the $10 million Everest over that distance in Sydney remained enticing.

Lankan Rupee has not yet secured a spot in the subscription-based race for which Chautauqua has been favourite since markets opened.

“I’m confident he will run well on Saturday,” Price said.

“I’m not saying he will win. I’ll be looking for him to finish off although I’d love to see him win, clearly,” Price said.

“I’m not sure about The Everest yet. If he wins on Saturday we may change tack but I think he could be looking for more ground.”

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