Lankan Rupee shrugged his high-class rivals aside at Flemington on Saturday to become the first horse since Weekend Hussler in 2008 to complete the difficult Group 1 Oakleigh Plate-Newmarket Handicap double.
Like Weekend Hussler, the Teeley Assets home-bred 4YO was foaled and raised at Arrowfield. He is also the 7th multiple Group 1 winner among 24 winners by Redoute’s Choice at that level.
Jockey Chad Schofield’s comment after the Newmarket matched what on-course and television spectators witnessed. “Towed me along. He was just waiting for me to give him the go and when I did he just put them away.”
Lankan Rupee is among several outstanding contenders for the Australian Racehorse of the Year title, and trainer Mick Price will now prepare him for the race that may decide it, the $2.5 million ATC T.J. Smith S. G1 on 12 April, the first day of The Championships.
“I think with five weeks between runs, I get a chance to send him back to mother nature for seven to 10 days in a green grassy paddock and refuel him.
“Assuming he gets around the reverse way he will be hard to beat as he kicked up a gear and beat them pretty well.
“He was supercharged today. It’s in his pedigree, it’s in the horse. I think it’s a great job the horse has done to go from the Oakleigh Plate and keep going up and up and up.”
Lankan Rupee’s dam, the Group 3 winner Estelle Collection (Stravinsky-Ana Zeel by Zabeel), is among the mares that will be offered for sale in the Teeley Dispersal, under the Arrowfield banner, at the Magic Millions National Sale, 26 May-5 June. She is carrying a full sibling to Lankan Rupee.
Lankan Rupee is one of 10 stakeswinners from the 59 runners whose pedigrees show the combination of Redoute’s Choice as sire, with Zabeel in either the second or third generation. The other famous example is multiple Group 1 winner Samantha Miss (ex Milliyet by Zabeel).
It was a heady day for Redoute’s Choice at Flemington, as his bonny 5YO daughter Bonaria also won her third Group 3 race, the 1600-metre MRC Matron Stakes, for her owner-breeders Robert & Deborah Anderson.
The champion sire, currently serving his second book of mares at the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in France, wasn’t quite finished, though. In South Africa his 2YO Mike de Kock-trained daughter Majmu (ex Spontaneous by Hussonet) made a winning debut in the Turffontein Ruffian S. 1000m LR. A $300,000 purchase by Shadwell Australia from Arrowfield’s 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast draft, she is stakeswinner No. 111 for Redoute’s Choice.
Throw in a quartet of 3YO stakes performers (Lorna May & Liberty’s Choice in Canberra, Tango’s Daughter at Flemington & Honorine in South Africa) and two new stakeswinners as a damsire (Messene in Canberra & 2YO Banaadeer in South Africa) – even by his own lofty standards, it’s been a very, very good weekend for Redoute’s Choice.
Arrowfield will present nine yearlings (6 colts, 3 fillies) by Redoute’s Choice at next month’s Inglis Australian Easter Sale.