Reigning Australian Racehorse of the Year Lankan Rupee ramps up his quest for a first-up tilt at February’s Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) when he returns to pre-training next week.

Trainer Mick Price said at this stage he had mapped out a three-run campaign for the world’s equal-highest-rated sprinter, aimed at defending his titles in both the $1 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 and $2.5 million T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 4. 

“He’ll go into pre-training next week and will probably run in the Lightning first up on February 21,” Price said. 

“If he kicks off in the Lightning it gives us three weeks to the Newmarket and that race then gives us three weeks to the T.J. Smith which at the moment looks like the plan. (Racing Victoria)