Champion jockey Damien Oliver will test out brilliant colt Extreme Choice as a Blue Diamond Stakes ride when the pair combine in the Group 3 $150,000 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Mick Price trained Extreme Choice was promoted to the top of the Ladbrokes.com.au market order for the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 27 following his impressive two lengths debut win in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick on December 12.
Sydney jockey Glyn Schofield was aboard in the Inglis Nursery but Oliver will have first refusal on the Not A Single Doubt colt for the Blue Diamond Stakes.
Oliver got a feel of Extreme Choice in a jump out at Caulfield last Tuesday morning and Price was pleased with the hit out.
“Damien Oliver trialled him here at Caulfield and he went really well,” Price said.
“He didn’t trial like a runaway two-year-old which we’ve already seen from him so I didn’t need to see him trial like that but he should be very, very hard to beat Saturday week. I think it will be a nice run into the Blue Diamond.”
Oliver will also have the choice of riding stablemate Flying Artie who he steered to a three and half lengths win in a 1000m barrier trial on the Geelong synthetic track on Monday.
Flying Artie is due to step out in the Group 3 $200,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday week and Oliver will wait until after then to choose between the two colts.
“There’s a bit of water to go under the bridge. Both have got to run and see how they’ll measure up under race pressure,” Oliver told racing.com.
“Extreme Choice is probably a bit more precocious, where I think (Flying Artie) has a bit more scope to get over further.”
“He’s a bigger horse, a bit stronger, a bit longer as well.
“He’s quite a mature two-year-old, physically and mentally… I’m very happy with him.”
While Extreme Choice has already proven himself on the race track, Price is certain that Flying Artie has the potential to also be competitive in the Blue Diamond Stakes following his trail win.
“I thought he was very good today (Monday) and he’ll be very good on Saturday week. Then he’ll go into Blue Diamond,” Price said.
Flying Artie has been to the races once for a photo finish second in the Group 3 $150,000 racing.com Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival with Dale Smith on board.
Early Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Extreme Choice, $8 Calliope, $9 Defcon, $15 Flying Artie, Cohesion, Hell Of An Effort, Manuel, Weatherly, Tessera, Sword Of Light, Zamzam, $17 Astern, Concealer, Miss Nymeria, $21 El Venetian, Power Trip.