Price weighs up Newmarket decision

Mick Price has revealed current TAB Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) favourite Lankan Rupee is no certainty to run in the $1 million Group 1 at Flemington on March 8.

Following a scintillating win in yesterday’s $400,000 Group 1 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield, the four-year-old firmed into the outright favourite for the Newmarket at $3.20.

Price, who already has the equal $6 second favourite Samaready heading towards the Newmarket, said Lankan Rupee may have his next run in the Group 1 Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 21 en route to the $2.5 million T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney in April.

“I just have to have a think,” Price told RSN. “Do you go to the Newmarket which is a tough 1200 and then into the William Reid at his fourth run?

“The T.J. Smith (1200m) is worth $2.5 million so why wouldn’t you save enough fuel for the T.J. Smith?

“Should you run in the Newmarket? Maybe yes, maybe no I’ve got a bit of thinking to do.

“He’s had two solid runs and if I give him a break now and then run him in the William Reid (1200m) and then the T.J. Smith, he would be spot on.”

Price said Lankan Rupee came through yesterday’s victory in good order, with the Caulfield-based trainer similarly pleased with how two-year-olds Jabali and Cornrow pulled up after finishing second and third respectively in yesterday’s $1 million Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).

Though admitting they had no excuses yesterday, Price said both would likely try to turn the tables on Earthquake in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) in Sydney in April.

“Both colts will have a week in the paddock and Jabali is definitely going to Sydney and Cornrow is probably going to Sydney,” he said.

“I’m hoping Earthquake goes somewhere else.”

Story by Ben Asgari