DEAN Lewinsaap

Trainer confident about Lankan Rupee’s fitness

TRAINER Mick Price is confident Australian Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee is fit enough to down boom sprinter Deep Field in Saturday's $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.

Lankan Rupee won four Group One races last year to be ranked the world's best sprinter, but had his colours lowered at his last outing when beaten into third place by Terravista and Chautauqua in the Group One Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8.

The five-year-old easily won an 800m trial at Cranbourne on February 9 in slick time, and looked impressive trialling between races at Caulfield on Saturday.

Ridden by jockey Dale Smith, the son of Redoute's Choice worked on the course proper, running his last 400m in 21.85sec and his final 200m in 10.87sec.

Price said he was happy the gelding was ready to produce his best first up.

"He's basically done now. I can't do much more for him and the gallop was good for him," Price told racenet "Dale got off and he said 'he'll be hard to beat next Saturday', and he's usually pretty close to the mark."

Craig Newitt (pictured on Lankan Rupee) will return from Singapore to take the ride in the Lightning.