Price eyeing Brisbane after Lightning win
STAR sprinter Lankan Rupee could be headed to Brisbane to target some winter riches after his brilliant win in the Group One Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.
The five-year-old turned the much-heralded match race with Sydneysider Deep Field into a one-act affair, dashing away in the final 300m to win by almost three lengths.
The win took the gelding's record to 11 wins from 22 starts, with six placings, and almost $4 million in prize money.
Lankan Rupee has never raced beyond 1200m, but trainer Mick Price said he was strongly considering a campaign in Queensland with the son of Redoute's Choice.
The two races under consideration would be the $750,000 Doomben 10,000, to be run over 1350m on May 23, and the $2 million Stradbroke Handicap, on June 6.
With Eagle Farm out of action because of a major upgrade, this year's Stradbroke is also being run over 1350m at Doomben.
"I think he'd do it on his ear," Price said when asked by Racing.com's Shane Anderson on Correct Weight whether the galloper would run a strong 1400m.
"Especially as he gets a bit seasoned, and that's why I'm thinking about Brisbane and those 1350-metre races at Doomben.
"He's having three runs (to start with), but he's still going to be full of himself as a gelding.
"He's got plenty of weight on him and he's perfectly sound, so I think those distances will be part of what we do."
The other two runs Price has pencilled in are the $1 million Group One Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14, and the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) to be run at Royal Randwick on April 11.
The TJ Smith is expected to attract a stellar field of sprinters, including Deep Field, Terravista, Chautauqua and Brazen Beau.
Deep Field had his colours lowered for the first time in the Black Caviar Lightning, holding on reasonably well to finish third behind Lankan Rupee and Brazen Beau.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes suggested the four-year-old may be better suited racing around a bend.
He also said it was too early to know where Deep Field would have his next start, with the $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 20 one of the possibilities.