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After blitzing his rivals to salute for the Blue Diamond Stakes punters in Melbourne over the weekend the Mick Price-trained super colt Extreme Choice is new favourite in futures Golden Slipper Stakes 2016 betting.
The brilliant Not A Single Doubt colt retained his undefeated status with his third win from as many starts at Caulfield last Saturday overcoming barrier 11 of 16 to take out the Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
It was his first look at the 1200m and Extreme Choice proved his class over the distance a number of people doubted he would be as smart over.
One of the doubters was jockey Damien Oliver who jumped off the favourite after riding him to victory in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at the start of February in favour of the run aboard the fellow Price-trained Flying Artie.
Winner of the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude, Flying Artie suffered a blow in the lead-up to the Group 1 coming up with the second widest alley in the Blue Diamond.
That nasty barrier proved the son of Artie Schiller’s undoing, Flying Artie running a brave second beaten one and three-quarter lengths by his stablemate.
Extreme Choice meanwhile had Craig Newitt aboard for the elite level triumph, the hoop having saluted aboard Price’s other winner of the race Samaready back in 2012.
Both horses are now heading to Sydney for a shot at the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) running at Rosehill Racecourse on Saturday March 19.
Price believes Extreme Choice still has plenty to give having pulled through his Blue Diamond win in top order.
“I think that there might have been a bit more in that horse,” Price told Correct Weight on RSN.
“He was under a hold on the corner – he had to check the horse a little bit, because he would’ve been in front too soon.
“I think that had he been tackled, there would’ve been a bit more to come.
“Extreme Choice pulled up like he hasn’t had a run.”
The also undefeated Written Tycoon colt, last seen taking out the $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) in Queensland on January 9, is now second favourite at $4.50.
Extreme Choice is the $4 top fancy while Flying Artie pays $9 despite not currently being Golden Slipper Stakes nominated.
Connections of Flying Artie have until 11am on Monday March 14 to pay the hefty $150,000 late entry fee to put the Blue Diamond runner-up in the mix.
Price is yet to prepare a Golden Slipper winner but co-trainer of Capitalist, Peter Snowden, enjoyed a win for Darley – now Godolphin – with Sepoy back in 2011.
Sepoy also won that season’s Blue Diamond Stakes, but had a lead-up into the Slipper when runner-up to Smart Missile in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
No Golden Slipper Stakes winner has backed up straight out of a Blue Diamond since Courtza completed the double way back in 1989.
Price admitted that Flying Artie’s Blue Diamond Stakes run was much tougher on him than it was on the winner, but that he was still a big hope for the rematch next month.
“Flying Artie, being speared off at the top of the straight, I think he felt the run a little bit. It wasn’t as easy a run for him,” Price said on Sunday.
“They’ve got three weeks, and they’re two-year-olds right in the fitness zone.
“We don’t have to do a lot with them, just get them to Sydney in one piece and work it out.
“When they first started off, I didn’t have a great comparison between the two as such. I didn’t really work them together, they’re both different horses, they were going different (autumn carnival) routes.
“As it got closer to the day, I only worked them together once and started to get a feel. Extreme Choice might’ve had the edge then.
“Yesterday everything went right for him, and a lot went wrong for Flying Artie.
“I thought the interference he suffered right when he was making his run… mid-stride, speared off the track, I thought that was the end of him.
“So for him to get going and run a really good closing sectional, I thought it was a phenomenal effort for a two-year-old.
“It would have been a lot closer.”
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