Trainer Mick Price is sure that if Joao Moreira gets the right run on Extreme Choice that the three year old will be able to beat the older horses in the sprint down the Flemington straight in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Three year olds have won four of the last nine runnings of the Newmarket Handicap and with only 53kg Price is confident that Extreme Choice can be added to that list.
“He’s an outstanding colt. He can win,” Price said.
“History says three-year-olds in the Newmarket, they have to be outstanding to win. But he has beaten the older horses at weight-for-age in the Moir.”
“I think if we’re in the right part of the race and he gets the good ride with 53 kilos, he’ll be in the money.”
“I think he’s just at the top of his game for the Newmarket and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The Magic Man Moreira, Hong Kong’s leading jockey, knows how to win a Newmarket Handicap and was able to win for trainer Chris Waller on the three year old Brazen Beau in 2015.
Extreme Choice has drawn the outside gate in the thirteen horse field and Price is hoping that the field doesn’t split.
“I’m hoping they don’t split, I’m hoping there’s just one race, because sometimes if they split you can be in the wrong part of the race, in the slower tempo part of it,” Price said.
“I see Sheidel is drawn in the other part of the race.
“I’m hoping there’s on solid section straight down the middle and he gets every chance.”
Moreira takes over from regular rider Craig Newitt on Extreme Choice who got too far out of his ground last start when a flashing third behind Sheidel and Faatinah in the Group 1 $500,000 The Resimax Group Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25 and Price said that the Not A Single Doubt will be much closer to the pace in the Newmarket Handicap.
“He can sit off them [like he did in the Moir Stakes], but that is not the thing to do in the Newmarket,” Price said.
“Certainly it’s not my idea that from 13 we just snag out behind the ones out the back.
“We shouldn’t be too far off them.”
Extreme Choice has already beaten the older horses when he won the weight for age Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival and he was also the top two year old during the 2016 Melbourne Autumn Carnival with his win in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Extreme Choice is on the second line of betting at $5 for the Newmarket Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au begins the $3.50 favourite Spieth,
The other three year old in the Newmarket Handicap is the Team Hawkes trained Star Turn who is next in the betting at $6.50 ahead of Oakleigh Plate winner Sheidel at $8 and Illustrious Lad at $8.50.