Mick Price’s smart colt Flying Artie is odds on to win first up in the Group 3 $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield today.
Flying Artie will be having is first run back after finishing third behind Capitalist and Yankee Rose in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill during the Sydney Autumn Carnival and is a firming $1.75 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Golden Slipper jockey Damien Oliver is back in the saddle and the Artie Schiller colt will jump from gate four in the field that has been reduced to twelve runners following the scratching of the Team Hawkes trained Palladian.
Price believes that Flying Artie has lost none of his ability that he showed as a two year old and expects him to win today.
“He will bring his best form to the track. He hasn’t lost any of that. He is a nice three year old now,” Price told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“I am pretty sure he can win but he gets pinched the last bit sobeit but I am pretty sure he can win. A good horse like that and nice prep. He is as ready as you need him.”
“He galloped really well. He galloped on the course proper on the fence last Saturday morning with Lankan Rupee and matched up well and I think he will be in the money today.”
Flying Artie was spelled in New South Wales and given plenty of time to recover from sesamoiditis after the Golden Slipper and has come up quicker than expected by Price who had picked initially out the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 5 as his comeback run.
“He had four months out with sesamoiditis and I thought he would be a nice horse for the Autumn three year old,” Price said.
“I thought the timing would only allow us to run first up in the Darley but he has come through with flying colours, has trialled well.
Flying Artie’s two year old form also included a second to stablemate Extreme Choice in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 27 and with a bit of luck Price said the result could have been reversed.
“Flying Artie in the Blue Diamond did a good job to get back and run second after being pushed off the course,” Price said.
“If you had reversed the situation in running, the result might have been different.”
The two Price trained colts are set to clash during the Melbourne Spring Carnival in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 29 and at this stage the top Caulfield trainer can’t see much between them.
“I don’t think there is (much between them),” Price said.
“I suppose we will find out on the thirtieth of this month.”
Extreme Choice has already made his 2016 Melbourne Spring debut with a brilliant win over the older horses at weight for age in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 30.
Price will also saddle up Heptagon in the Blue Sapphire Stakes today and is giving him a good place chance with Craig Newitt to ride from barrier one.
“He can run a place. He will be midfield and punch up along the fence and if there is no traffic in front of him he can run a place,” Price said.
“Happy to run him, probably can’t win but that is okay, he will run well and improve.”
Market order for the Blue Sapphire Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.75 Flying Artie, $6 Ken’s Dream, $7 Derryn, $9 Merriest, $15 Radcliffe, $17 Barthelona, $34 Highland Beat, Heptagon, $41 Call Me Tess, $61 Manolo Blahniq, $101 Dalradian, Mr Tickler.