Flying Artie worked home strongly late to record an impressive victory in the 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Prelude for colts and geldings at Caulfield this afternoon.
Flying Artie drew towards the outside of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Prelude field and the Artie Schiller colt was caught a little bit wide in the early stages of the race.
Star Turn hit the front at the 250 metre mark and looked like the winner, but Flying Artie responded quickly when he was asked for an extra effort by Oliver and he got his nose in front of his rivals in the final stages of the race.
Oliver partnered Extreme Choice in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last weekend and he now has a big decision on his hands on who to ride in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes, but he believes both Extreme Choice and Flying Artie are genuine winning chances in the Group 1 event.
“It was a very good win because he was caught a little bit wide and it took just a little while to get him back behind the stablemate,” Oliver said.
“I had to peel off and go a little bit early, but I like the way that he really knuckled down in the straight and chased down the second horse.
“I am not going to rush into an answer and they are both great rides.
“I think they are both great winning chances, I’ll let the dust settle, speak to Mick and we will see how we go from there.”
Price indicated during the week that Flying Artie was every bit as good as Extreme Choice and the two-year-old lived up to the hype in impressive fashion.
The leading trainer was thrilled with the toughness that Flying Artie showed and he is confident that he will take improvement from the run ahead of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes, but he refused to either Flying Artie or Extreme Choice as his best winning chance in the race.
“He is a big strong horse and I would say that a Blue Diamond 1200 metres should be good.
“We just need to drew a gate and I think he will benefit from today because he was very sweaty in the run and he is usually a cool horse.
“His work has been good and I just think that a good two-year-old with a good extended run like he did there they can’t fluke it.
“He is a red hot chance in the Blue Diamond.
“I can’t split them.”
Price is chasing his first win in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes since star mare Samaready took out the 2012 edition of the race.