Caulfield trainer Mick Price will set his brilliant colt Flying Artie for a Group 1 treble during the Melbourne and Sydney 2017 Autumn Carnival.
Flying Artie was one of the stars of his two year old season and early three season and Price said that the Artie Schiller colt has developed well during his time off over the summer months.
“He’s great,” Price told Racing.com.
“He’s made a physical progression from the spring to the autumn and I think he’s a big track horse.”
Price’s three main Autumn Carnival missions for Flying Artie are the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) on February 18 and the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 11, both at Flemington, before heading to Sydney for the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 1.
Flying Artie wasn’t far off the top rated two year olds with an unlucky second to stablemate Extreme Choice in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 27, followed by a third behind Capitalist and Yankee Rose I the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19.
Price only gave Flying Artie two runs during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and the colt delivered with wins in the Group 3 $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 12 followed by a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 29.
Extreme Choice is also back in work with the Group 1 $500,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25 his likely Autumn Carnival pipe opener and Price said that here is a possibility that the two star colts could clash during the Autumn in maybe the Newmarket or the T J Smith Stakes.
“Extreme Choice will kick-off on Blue Diamond day in the Oakleigh Plate and hopefully, he doesn’t get too badly weighted,” Price said.
“Then, whether he goes into the Newmarket and William Reid or the Newmarket and TJ Smith I am not sure.
“I know he ran in the Coolmore and he was below par that day but I’m not sure we saw the best of him that day.”
Extreme Choice was sent out as one of the favourites in the Coolmore Stud Stakes but failed to fire to finish fifth behind Flying Artie.
Early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the T J Smith Stakes has the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua as the $5 favourite ahead of the Golden Rose winner Astern and the much improved Spieth at $7 with price’s pair next in the market order, Flying Artie at $9 and Extreme Choice at $10.
Early market order for the T J Smith Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Chautauqua, $7 Astern, Spieth, $9 Flying Artie, $10 Extreme Choice, $12 Star Turn, $13 Black Heart Bart, $14 English, $15 Malaguerra, $16 Russian Revolution, $17 Terravista, $21 Counterattack, Japonisme, Lucky Hussler, Music Magnate, Southern Legend, Takedown.