Extra Choice will undoubtedly face the biggest test of his short racing career so far in Saturday’s Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m), but trainer David Hayes is confident the three-year-old is ready to run a big race.
Extra Choice was unable to make much of a competitive impact upon debuting to racing in autumn, but has more than stamped himself as a horse to follow this time in taking out each of the Cross Electrics Maiden Plate (1200m) and XXXX Gold BM64 (1400m) in succession.
Drawn alongside some of the Spring Carnival’s most exciting three-year-old prospects in the 2015 Caulfield Guineas Prelude, Hayes told Racing Ahead he will use the gelding’s performance to dictate a berth in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in a fortnight, however he believes a race like the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) may instead figure as his major target.
“He seems to have improved again,” Hayes said.
“This is a bit of an experiment to see if he’s a Guineas horse but my gut feeling says he’s more of a 2000m horse.
“I’m hoping he can sprint with them but he was impressive last start.
“From the barrier he might not get as far back as he did last time and I think he’s going to be competitive.”
Extra Choice jumped from the gates only fairly in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on debuting in February and was unable to recover in finishing a disappointing tenth of a total fourteen runners.
Leaving favourite for success in the Hyland Race Colours Maiden Plate (1200m) on March 14th, the son of Redoute’s Choice appeared to be looming for success rounding onto the final straight but suffered a minor tendon injury and pulled up lame.
Confirmed to be partnered by regular rider Michael Walker, Extra Choice will carry only 55kgs in the 2015 Caulfield Guineas Prelude and will leave from the ideal barrier 3.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Caulfield Guineas Prelude odds, for which Extra Choice can be taken at a generous quote of $21 for success or $6.10 to finish in the first three.