Boom two year old Flying Artie will have to be as good as the stable thinks he is if he is to win the Group 3 $200,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for the colts and geldings at Caulfield on Saturday from the outside barrier.
Flying Artie has drawn gate sixteen in the capacity field.
Trainer Mick Price has rated Flying Artie very highly following an impressive all the way win in a 1000m Geelong barrier trial on February 1 and Damien Oliver is considering him as his ride in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 27.
“Flying Artie is a really nice horse,” Price said.
“I really like him, he’s a big scopey horse, he’ll definitely get 1200m, so we’ll see how he goes next Saturday and fine tune it from there.”
Oliver won the Group 3 $150,000 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield last Saturday on stablemate Extreme Choice and was waiting to see how Flying Artie performed this week before making his Blue Diamond Stakes decision.
“We won’t make a decision with jockeys until after next Saturday,” Price said.
Extreme Choice currently heads the Blue Diamond Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.40 while Flying Artie is on the third line of betting at $11.
Price will also saddle up China Dream, barrier fourteen with Craig Newitt, and Los Cabos, barrier one with apprentice Michael Dee.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Defcon performed well at his race debut and is sure to be improved after running second to Tessera in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on January 30.
The Choisir colt was also out of luck at the barrier draw, coming up with gate thirteen with Blake Shinn taking over from Brenton Avdulla.
The Godolphin owned Cohesion, trained by John O’Shea, has also drawn awkwardly at twelve but has the pace to overcome that after leading all of the way to win the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) at Caulfield on January 26.
Trainer Paul Messara is expecting a better performance from Weatherly this week after the Beneteau colt blew the start on debut before finishing sixth behind Cohesion in the Blue Diamond Preview.
Top Hong Kong based jockey Douglas Whyte takes over from the suspended Craig Williams on Weatherly who has drawn midfield at barrier nine.
Star Turn from the Team Hawkes stable is having his first run back since winning the $150,000 Pierro Plate (1100m) at Randwick on October 24 and has drawn gate eight with Dwayne Dunn taking over from Tommy Berry.
The Lindsay Park Team of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig will be represented by two Fastnet Rock colts first starters Lionhearted and Ocean Grove.
Lionhearted will be ridden by Nicholas Hall and has drawn barrier two while Ocean Grove has Damian Lane in the saddle and will jump from gate seven.
Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude for the colts and geldings field: 1 Power Trip (4), 2 Cohesion (12), 3 Star Turn (8), 4 Bullion Wolf (3), 5 Defcon (13), 6 Capannello (5), 7 Flying Artie (16), 8 El Venetian (15), 9 China Dream (14), 10 Weatherly (9), 11 Los Cabos (1), 12 Ambitious Ex (6), 13 Black Energy (11), 14 Lionhearted (2), 15 Ocean Grove (7), 16 Revolving Door (10).