A gun lead-up to the Blue Diamond Stakes at the end of the month, Saturday’s Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude 2016 is one of the feature races on the Caulfield race card on CF Orr Stakes Day.
There are 15 remaining colts and geldings engaged for this year’s $200,000 Group 3 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) after the early scratching of the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained favourite Defcon.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden reportedly wasn’t happy with the Choisir colt’s fitness ahead of the event and will instead trial at Rosehill on Monday to bring him on for the $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 27.
New favourite in the Blue Diamond Prelude betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.20 for the win is the big market mover Flying Artie who has been backed in from an opening quote of $7.
Drawn wide in gate 15 (into 14), the Mick Price-trained son of Artie Schiller has his second career run on the weekend after his second to Power Trip on debut last November in Flemington’s Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m).
An easy three and a half-length trial winner at Geelong on February 1, Price has been spruiking the galloper’s Blue Diamond credentials with stablemate Extreme Choice the dominant favourite for the Group 1.
Following Flying Artie in the latest Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude betting markets are Weatherly ($4.40) who is out to improve on a sixth in the Blue Diamond Preview last month on debut and the Team Hawkes-trained colt Star Turn ($5.50) who won at Randwick back in October.
So can Price’s colt overcome the wide draw and win for the punters or is there value tipping an upset from the likes of Cohesion ($7.50) or Power Trip ($13)?
#3 Star Turn ($5.50)
Star Witness colt has had two good runs in Sydney to kick off his career in the spring and trialled well at Warwick Farm last month. Dwayne Dunn has the ride for the youngster’s Melbourne debut from gate eight and he’ll be ridden forward on speed. If he can hold the position over a distance he’s already won over by three lengths, he’ll be the one to run down.
#1 Power Trip ($13)
John McArdle-trained Hard Spun gelding took out the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate narrowly over Price’s spruik colt Flying Artie during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, form that is tipped to stack up, and was far from disgraced when fourth in the Blue Diamond Preview first-up. He’ll be fitter for the run and pays good odds here from a gun gate four draw with claims.
#7 Flying Artie ($4.20)
Plenty being said about the potential of this Blue Diamond bound youngster who Oliver rides here from the wide draw. He really needed a better barrier and looks a bit short in the markets based on the alley, but has class and only needs the luck in running to swoop.
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