The Mick Price trained Flying Artie can give champion jockey Damien Oliver his sixth win in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Oliver hasn’t won the Black Caviar Lightning since scoring on the David Hayes trained Nicconi in 2010 and that win came on top of his victories on the brilliant grey Schillaci in 1992 and 1993, on Gold Ace in 1996 and on Testa Rossa in 2000.
Flying Artie is one of the top fancies for the 1000m scamper and his record of one win and a second down the Flemington straight will be a huge advantage for Oliver’s quest for another Group 1 win.
“Tempo down the straight is usually a bit different and he’s shown that he can run really well down the straight so they are positives,” Oliver told racing.com.
“He’s developed and matured and you’ll see a lovely furnished three-year-old when he steps out on Saturday.”
Flying Artie was beaten a nose on debut over the same course and distance as the Black Caviar Lightning when second to Power Trip in the Group 3 $150,000 racing.com Maribyrnong Plate during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival and then returned to Flemington last Spring to win the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) from Astern and Star Turn.
The Team Hawkes trained Star Turn will be one if Flying Artie’s main rivals again with Dwayne Dunn looking to reverse the placings.
Price said that Flying Artie’s preparation has been ideal and he expects the Artie Schiller colt to be right in the money.
“Physically when you see him in the mounting yard he’s a bigger, better horse,” Price told racing.com.
“As a spring three-year-old he wasn’t rushed to run in the Blue Sapphire but he sort of just made the race on time and he won despite being a bit green and all over the place.
“His win in the Coolmore was that of a professional racehorse and I think he’s right where he should be.
“His Cranbourne trial was good, his Sandown gallop was good. He ran a half-mile (800m) in 50 seconds (Tuesday) morning where he sat off a nice running sort of a horse in Katsuro and Ollie (Damien Oliver) was happy and I think he’ll be in the money on Saturday.”
Oliver agrees with Price’s assessment of Flying Artie heading towards the Black Caviar Lightning and also expects him to be amongst the top end of the prizemoney.
“We’re really happy with Flying Artie,” Oliver said.
“He’s had a good preparation and we’re ready to go.”
The top of the market order for the Black Caviar Lightning at Ladbrokes.com.au is looking very congested on Thursday with Star Turn ($4.60), Flying Artie ($4.80) and backmarker Spieth ($5) all vying for favouritism.
The Bryce Heys trained Spieth is also a winner down the Flemington straight with a victory in an 1100m 3yo Handicap during the 2016 Winter and was denied a Group 1 win by the narrowest of margins when a flying second to Malaguerra in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington o the last day of the 2016 four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.