Wide Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Draw No Issue for Price

February 24th, 2016

Race favourites Extreme Choice and Flying Artie both drew awkwardly at Tuesday’s 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes barrier draw but trainer Mick Price is confident the allocation will not hinder the talented stable mates’ chances in the feature race.

Extreme Choice will leave from barrier 13 in the 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart

Extreme Choice will leave from barrier 13 in the 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart

Extreme Choice is yet to taste anything but success through his short racing career so far, and has been a dominant Blue Diamond Stakes favourite since he returned this time for a comfortable win in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (1000m) at Caulfield on February 6th.

Flying Artie debuted to racing for a close second in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington in early November, and stamped his intentions for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes when savaging the line for success in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude C&G (1100m) a fortnight ago.

Price told Racing Ahead that while an inside draw would have been favourable, he has no doubt both runners can still find a winning position in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.

“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.”

Price confirmed he is yet to discuss riding plans from the wide Blue Diamond Stakes draws with jockeys Craig Newitt (Extreme Choice) and Damien Oliver (Flying Artie).

“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 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 remains a $3 favourite in Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au while Flying Artie can be taken at a quote of $4.40.