The Mick Price-trained duo of Extreme Choice and Flying Artie were both allocated wide 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes barrier draws yesterday morning, but an optimistic Mick Price is not overly concerned about the wide draws ahead of the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Extreme Choice was allocated barrier 13 and Flying Artie barrier 17, which led to the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes odds of both horses lengthening, but Price told Racing Ahead that both horses will start closer to the inside once the emergencies are removed and he does not believe that the wide gates are an insurmountable issue for either galloper.
“I have been through it all before,” Price said.
“You draw bad gates.
“Flying Artie won from 16 out of 16 in the Prelude and they are not insurmountable.
“Extreme Choice comes into 11 and the other horse might come into 12 if the emergencies do not get a run.
“It might not be too bad, with 16 runners spread across the track, and I have good jocks on.
“We will work it out, but the main thing is that we have had beautiful preparations.
“The horses are good and I am looking forward to it.”
There has been speculation that Price would instruct jockey Craig Newitt to take a sit on Extreme Choice in the early stages of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes and Price said that was an option, but he would not make a decision on how he would like his duo to be ridden until after he sees how the Caulfield track is playing on Saturday.
Price added that he could make all the best plans in the world, but it could all change if Newitt or Damien Oliver make a spur of the moment decision in the early stages of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
“Sometimes we don’t make the decisions until we watch the races,” Price said.
“I think that the race is at 4.45, so we need a lot more information to have a bit of a measured guess at it all.
“I haven’t drawn through it horse by horse yet, but we will fine tune it on race day and see what the the jocks want to do.
“Extreme Choice is flexible – we sat him off one on Tuesday morning and Craig said that he had quite a loose rein on him.
“He is an adaptable horse and in the first 100 metres depending on what happens, jocks make their own decisions.”
Extreme Choice is currently available at 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $3 and he is a clear favourite from Flying Artie ($4.40), Concealer ($6), Samara Dancer ($7.50) and Star Turn ($14).