Despite drawing awkwardly with wide barriers for the feature race at Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday the Mick Price-trained stablemates Extreme Choice and Flying Artie still dominate 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes odds this season.
Due to run as Caulfield Race 7 at 4:45pm (local) this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) features a capacity field of two-year-olds.
Wearing the number one saddlecloth and drawn out in barrier 13, into 11 if the three emergencies come out, is the current $3 top fancy in Blue Diamond betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Extreme Choice.
Craig Newitt has picked up the ride on the undefeated Not A Single Doubt colt who is out to hand Price with a second win in the classic following the success of Samaready (2012).
Extreme Choice has won both of his starts to date including the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at the track on February 6 by a runaway four and a half-length margin.
The other Price-trained runner in the mix is Flying Artie, the son of Artie Schiller drawn even wider out in barrier 17 (into 15).
Barrier 15 last produced a Blue Diamond Stakes winner only two years ago when Earthquake (2014) saluted from the same gate Flying Artie aims to win from on Saturday as a current $4.40 hope out from $3.80.
After a second on debut at Flemington in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) during the spring’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, Flying Artie resumed on February 13 with a win in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude where he overcame barrier 13 of 13.
Despite the full field there are just two other hopefuls under $10 in Blue Diamond Stakes markets for this weekend currently with Concealer ($6) and Samara Dancer ($9 into $7.50) the early market mover.
Concealer jumps from barrier six, possibly into five, and gate five has produced two of the past seven Blue Diamond champions with Sepoy (2011) and Reward For Effort (2009).
The nicely drawn Nicconi filly represents Tony McEvoy and has had two runs to date, a Group 3 Flemington win on debut last Melbourne Cup Day and then her second in the Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude last time out when beaten only a length.
Also drawn ideally in barrier five, which could become four, Samara Dance will get the run of the race with Dom Tourneur over form South Australia for the ride on the Phillip Stokes-trained Adelaide raider.
Like Extreme Choice, Stokes’s Hinchinbrook filly has won both of her starts so far including the Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude on February 13.
She is now out to emulate the double recently achieved by Earthquake (2014) and Samaready (2012) and continue the good run of fillies over the boys in the Blue Diamond Stakes results.
Reward For Effort ($15 in 2009) was the last double figure Blue Diamond winner and the best of the hopes around this price this autumn include Star Turn ($14) and Miss Nymeria ($17).
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Star Witness colt Star Turn is drawn in barrier 10 and has four-time Blue Diamond Stakes winning jockey Dwayne Dunn booked for the ride.
Dunn enjoyed four straight wins aboard Undoubtedly (2005), Nadeem (2006), Sleek Chassis (2007) and Reaan (2008) and gets the chance at another on Saturday riding the Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude runner-up.
Miss Nymeria is a grey daughter of Styker trained by Cranbourne’s Robbie Griffiths who comes via runs in the Fillies Preview (sixth) and Prelude (third) she is looking to improve on over the 1200m for the first time from barrier three.
See below for the latest Blue Diamond Stakes 2016 betting odds then visit the race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au for access to all the markets and promos!