The 2016 Moir Stakes field is set to feature a legion of older sprint stars but trainer Mick Price is backing his gun three-year-old Extreme Choice to come out and win the Moonee Valley feature first-up.
Run at the tight Valley circuit on September 30, this year’s edition of the $500,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1000m) is likely to see the likes of three-time Moir Stakes champion Buffering and the Team Hawkes-trained speedster Chautauqua face off in a thriller.
The class of the competition hasn’t deterred Price from declaring his hopeful, Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice, a winning hope in the short-distance classic.
“I think if he can come out and win the Moir – it’s a very prestigious race against the older horses and if Chautauqua and that sort of horse are in it, so be it,” Price told Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
The chestnut colt has had four starts to date for three wins as a juvenile including most famously the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield back in late February.
His last start produced a disappointing eighth behind the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist in the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19.
Slipper winner Capitalist kicked off his three-year-old campaign in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) back at Rosehill on August 13.
Despite the hype on the return of the Written Tycoon colt, Capitalist only managed to finish 3.2 lengths away fourth as the beaten $2 favourite struggling under his 60kg top weight behind the winner Star Turn.
It was back to the drawing board for Team Snowden then, who have opted not to run the one-time favourite in Saturday week’s $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).
Instead Capitalist will be kept to the shorter sprints, setting up another showdown for him and Extreme Choice in the Moir Stakes next month.
Price’s main objective this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with Extreme Choice is adding to the colt’s stallion value.
He will do that by targeting the elite levels during the festival including the Moir Stakes and also the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight on Victoria Derby Day, October 29.
“I could place him in the lesser races against his own age but it’s not going to achieve much,” Price said.
“It’s more about trying to improve his stud fee and a win in a Moir or a Coolmore later in the spring would go a long way to ensuring that.”
Price chases his second A.J. Moir Stakes win having taken out the sprint just two years ago with his mare Samaready (2014).
He is yet to prepare a Coolmore Stud Stakes winner.
Sydney’s Chris Waller has dominated the early Melbourne Cup Carnival feature for three-year-olds preparing the past three winners on the trot with: Zoustar (2013), Brazen Beau (2014) and Japonisme (2015).
His latest champ Japonisme returns to racing this weekend, the now four-year-old Choisir gelding entered for the $125,000 Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick.
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