Trainer Mick Price admits that Flying Artie will need plenty of luck from the outside barrier if he is to win the Group 3 $200,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Flying Artie drew the outside of the sixteen horse field but will come in one with the scratching of the early favourite Defcon, who drew barrier thirteen.
Damien Oliver will ride the Mick Price trained colt on Saturday to test him as a possible mount in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in a fortnight.
But Price is concerned with the wide gate on the weekend and admits that the Artie Schiller colt will need more than his share of luck to overcome the horror drew.
“It’s very difficult to be positive about it, but it is what it is,” Price told racing.com.
“I don’t know what sort of luck he’s going to have. (Barrier) 16 out of 16 is very tricky and we’ll just deal with it the best way we can.”
Oliver has the option of riding Flying Artie or stablemate Extreme Choice in the Blue Diamond Stakes and will make a decision over the weekend.
Extreme Choice has cemented his place at the top of the Blue Diamond Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.70 after doing a demolition job with Oliver in the saddle in winning the Group 3 $150,000 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
The fact that Extreme Choice has the runs on the board and Flying Artie has drawn wide this Saturday and will need to be well above the rest of the field to win, Price is thinking that Oliver will stick with the Chairman’s Stakes winner in the Blue Diamond Stakes.
“I’m thinking that D. Oliver will lean on Extreme Choice in front of Flying Artie – I don’t know that for a fact, but that’s my feel,” Price said.
While Oliver has the job of deciding his Blue Diamond Stakes mount, Craig Newitt is waiting in the wings to snap up Oliver’s discard.
“I have spoken to the owners about C. Newitt riding Flying Artie – I did say to them he’s ridden 15 Group 1s for me and I think that counts for something. I think he’ll suit the horse,” Price said.
“They’ve got to have a chat amongst themselves, they’re two nice guys, they know the game so they’ll contribute to the decision and we’ll see what happens.”
Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.40 Flying Artie, $4.80 Weatherly, $5.50 Star Turn, $7.50 Cohesion, $13 Power Trip, $17 Revolving Door, $18 Capanello, El Venetian, Ocean Grove, $26 Bullion Wolf, Lionhearted, $31 China Dream, $51 Ambitious Ex, $101 Los Cabos, Black Energy.