Man Of Choice is set to contest the 2015 Victoria Derby and trainer Luke Price is confident that the promising stayer can run out a strong 2500 metres in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Man Of Choice worked his way through the grades during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he stamped himself as a stayer with promise when he finished a credible third in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 26 before he toughed it out to the finish for third in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 10.
Price expected Man Of Choice to head to the spelling paddock following his Spring Champion Stakes effort, but he said that he was given the confidence to press on to the 2015 Victoria Derby by the way that he bounced back from the run as well as the way he settled in the early stages of the race.
“There are a lot of question marks against the horses about whether they are going to run a strong 2500 metres out, so they have to switch off early,” Price told Sky Racing HQ.
“I think that I have the right horse that will do that and finish it off.
“My first impression going into the Spring Champion was that this could be our Grand Final, but he had such a soft run and he came through it so well.
“All signs were that he had that improvement in him and the trip down here hasn’t harmed him.
“I am really looking forward to Saturday now.”
Man Of Choice was sent to Melbourne on Sunday and he had his first look at Flemington this morning when he galloped alongside Group 1 winning mare Amicus at Breakfast With The Stars.
Price said that he was happy with the feel that he received from Man Of Choice and he believes that the Manhattan Rain gelding will take plenty of benefit from the gallop ahead of the 2015 Victoria Derby this weekend.
“He wasn’t out there to break any records,” Price said.
“He was just there to look around and check out his new surroundings.
“That is what he did, he kicked his legs up a few times when he first got out there and he got excited, but he just followed Amicus in his work and I just let him stroll along.
“I was very happy with the way that he handled his trip and the way that he felt.
“He is a very laidback customer and once you show him something once he just improves out of sight the next time.
“I think that he will settle in really well and come Saturday he will primed and ready to go.”
Man Of Choice is currently available at 2015 Victoria Derby odds of $26 with Ladbrokes, while Tarzino ($2.40) is a dominant favourite from Kia Ora Koutou ($8), Get The Picture ($8.50), Extra Choice ($10) and Pay Up Bro ($10).
You can score the best Victoria Derby odds with Ladbrokes, who will offer Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every single race at Flemington on Saturday.