Flying Artie on 2016 Blue Diamond Stakes Mission

The Blue Diamond Stakes 2016 odds on the Mick Price-trained Flying Artie have firmed right in after the progressive colt blitzed a Monday trial on the Geelong Synthetic track.

Damien Oliver

Damien Oliver will ride Blue Diamond bound Flying Artie next start in the Prelude for trainer Mick Price. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The two-year-old son of Flying Artie debuted at Flemington during last November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival finishing a devastatingly close second to Power Trip in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m).

In his first public appearance since the up-and-coming juvenile contested a 1000m Geelong hit-out for two-years-old colts and geldings on Monday.

Ridden by 2004 Blue Diamond Stakes winning jockey Damien Oliver, who rode Alinghi to victory in the classic for trainer Lee Freedman, Flying Artie never looked in doubt with his three and a half length win over stablemate Brookwater.

Flying Artie completed the trial in a sharp 59.05 looking on track for a shot at the $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 27 this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.

Local Caulfield-based horseman Price won his sole Blue Diamond Stakes trophy in 2012 with classy filly Samaready and is seeing lots of potential in Flying Artie to take out another.

“He’s a good colt – he’s a Blue Diamond chance,” Price told Racing Victoria.

“He had a good little break after he raced with the Blue Diamond in view – we could’ve trained on with him at that point but you’ve got to get the timing right.

“I thought he was very good here.”

Current all-in Blue Diamond Stakes odds at are led by Price’s Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice ($6) who won the Inglis Nursery (1000m) on debut at Randwick back in December by two lengths.

Flying Artie has also been wound right in now paying $15 in the futures Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets, an equal price with Godolphin’s Listed Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview winner Cohesion.

Next-up Price has scheduled Flying Artie for the $200,000 Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 13 where the youngster is sure to start one of the shortest in betting.

“He’ll be very good Saturday week,” Price said of the horse’s Prelude chances.

As for which of his two best fancied Blue Diamond chances Price has his money on this season, the trainer is leaning towards the longer priced Flying Artie once they get out over 1200m.

“I think Extreme Choice would nearly beat him over 1000m and what they do over 1200m might be fairly different,” he said.

“I’d be going for Flying Artie – he’s a bigger horse, but you never know – he’s a little bulldog Extreme Choice.”

Glyn Schofield rode Extreme Choice for his winning December debut, but Oliver is booked to ride the horse and Flying Artie at their next starts leading into the Blue Diamond Stakes.

“Extreme Choice is probably a bit more precocious, where I think (Flying Artie) has a bit more scope to get over further,” Oliver said.

“He’s a bigger horse, a bit stronger, a bit longer as well.

“He’s quite a mature two-year-old, physically and mentally… I’m very happy with him.”

Extreme Choice will bypass the Prelude and instead have his final Blue Diamond lead-up in the $150,000 Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) on February 6, which could help Oliver decide which of the Price runners he’ll partner in the Blue Diamond Stakes.

“There’s a bit of water to go under the bridge between now and then,” the jockey said.

“Obviously they’ve both got to run and see how they measure up against good opposition under race pressure… so we’ll see.”

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