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Caulfield’s Mick Price has named a Group 1 home mission on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day for undefeated colt Ardrossan who targets the 2018 Oakleigh Plate.
The three-year-old son of Redoute’s Choice has won his opening two career starts across the Tasman in New Zealand and is gearing up for his down under debut with Price.
Last seen saluting for the punters as the odds-on favourite over 1100m at Te Rapa in May of 2017, Ardrossan recently joined Melbourne trainer Price in Victoria.
Looking to improve his recent stable acquisition’s future value at stud, Price is planning a tough early Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival mission for Ardrossan.
The colt is being prepared for a shot at the Group 1 $500,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) against the older sprinters second-up on February 24.
“He’s a well-bred colt and I want to get his value up. He’s going really well,” Price told the Herald Sun.
The Oakleigh Plate is a short-distance feature Price took out in 2014 with Lankan Rupee who came off a lead-up win in the Rubiton Stakes.
Price is planning the same double for Ardrossan this season with the Group 2 $200,000 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) on the agenda first-up at Caulfield on February 10.
No three-year-old has been successful in the Oakleigh Plate showdown however since Starspangledbanner (2010).
Other three-year-olds on the Oakleigh Plate path this season are Golden Slipper winning filly She Will Reign and Nicconi gelding Nature Strip.
The Gary Portelli-trained She Will Reign is down to resume in Sydney’s $250,000 Inglis Sprint (1100m) at Warwick Farm on February 10 before heading towards the Oakleigh Plate.
Nature Strip meanwhile continued to prove his potential taking his career record up to four wins from five starts last Saturday saluting in Flemington’s $250,000 Inglis Dash (1100m).
That victory shot Nature Strip to the top of all-in Oakleigh Plate betting, the up-and-comer sitting just ahead of She Will Reign in the pre-field markets.
“A lot of those horses who are brilliant over 1000m find it hard to get that extra 100m,” Nature Strip’s interim trainer Robert Hickmott said.
“He may be better suited around a corner. The Oakleigh Plate has been talked about. All things going well, that’s where we’re heading.”
The other best in futures Oakleigh Plate odds this Melbourne Festival of Racing is Henry Dwyer’s four-year-old Snitzel mare Snitty Kitty.
She hasn’t raced since making it three wins on the trot with a two and a quarter-length victory in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) last October, but is set to resume in the Listed $120,000 W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) on February 3.
To back the standout autumn racehorses and for access to the top early Group 1 autumn odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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