Form expert Daniel O’Sullivan has Extreme Choice on top of his 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes tips and he believes that the talented colt is clearly the horse to beat in the Group 1 event at Caulfield tomorrow.
Extreme Choice made his racing debut with a very impressive victory in the Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Royal Randwick on December 12 and he stamped himself as the clear Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes favourite when he cruised to victory in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 6.
Those looking to poke a hole in the form of Extreme Choice have questioned his ability to run out a strong 1200 metres, but O’Sullivan is confident that want be a problem for the son of Not A Single Doubt in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
“That is not to say that he is crying out for 1200, but when you analyse sectional times and work in that area of racing, you start to notice profiles of horses that are suited to run certain distances,” O’Sullivan told Radio TAB.
“Typically for 1000 metre horses we see a real drop-off in the run to the line over that 1000 metre trip and that basically signals that those horses have bottomed out and given their maximum.
“He looks a different horse and he doesn’t have that typical slowdown in speed to the line that typical 1000 metre horses have.
“There is no doubt that he is a rare talent and I haven’t seen anything objective yet in his races that he won’t get the distance.
“He can relax beautifully, in his previous win at Caulfield he used a lot of energy to work around the outside and lead and the way he came back under Damien Oliver and relaxed was fantastic I felt.
“That is the mark of a horse that can extend out in trip and be just as impressive.
“It is very, very rare to see a colt produce two high-ratings like he has done in their first two starts and that puts him in the category of a horse like Sepoy.
“That is not to say that he ends up as good as Sepoy, but that is how rare it is to see colts start their career with such two outstanding performances.”
Stablemate Flying Artie is currently on the second line of Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes betting, but O’Sullivan believes that it is Tony McEvoy-trained Concealer that represents the main danger to Extreme Choice.
Concealer made up plenty of ground to finish second behind Samara Dancer in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) and O’Sullivan said that there was plenty to like about her debut win at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
“I think that she is the main danger to Extreme Choice to be honest,” McEvoy said.
“Her run behind Samara Dancer was outstanding, she was only beaten a length by Samara Dancer, but the difference in trip they had was noticeable.
“Samara Dancer was back in the field just two wide and picked her way through and emerged from the back, while Concealer was slowly away, got back, travelled wide and did a few things wrong there.
“She really finished off powerfully and her debut win was a very high-rating race up the straight at Flemington.
“She definitely has the potential to figure in a race like this.”
Extreme Choice is currently available at 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $3 and he is a clear favourite from Flying Artie ($5), Concealer ($6) and Samara Dancer ($6.50).