Mick Price is holding all the Golden Slipper aces after the Melbourne trainer’s two high-profile colts drew inside barriers for the $3.5 million race.
Extreme Choice and Flying Artie have drawn gates seven and five respectively as they try to replicate their Blue Diamond Stakes quinella last month.
Price said Extreme Choice and Flying Artie were benchmark two-year-olds and the barrier draw had worked out perfectly for them.
“I don’t like to be cocky but I think they’re the best two colts in the race,” Price said.
“If they have a nice run you’ll see them blast away and they’ll be very hard to beat.”
The barrier draw has done little to change Golden Slipper betting and Extreme Choice remained the $2.80 favourite as Flying Artie firmed from $6 to $5 to confirm his place as a clear-cut second pick.
Flying Artie’s barrier fortunes have taken a turn for the better when it matters most.
The colt started from 13 in a Blue Diamond Prelude win and he had gate 15 when second to Extreme Choice in the Blue Diamond.
From an inside draw in the 2016 Golden Slipper, Price said he would he approach stewards to have Flying Artie ridden much closer to the front than he was in the Blue Diamond.
“We’ve had to get messy on him to ride around those bad barriers,” Price said.
“At least in the Slipper we can go forward.”
Price insists there isn’t much between the stablemates after taking into account Flying Artie’s luckless Blue Diamond run.
“He started from a terrible gate and got poleaxed on the corner,” he said.
“It was the end result of four horses bumping.
“I saw him spear sideways and I said ‘that’s it for him’, so for him to climb back and run second was amazing.”
Price sent Extreme Choice and Flying Artie out together from the 1200m chute at Rosehill on Tuesday morning in a piece of work the trainer said continued a flawless Slipper campaign for both horses.
“The work was perfect and I’ve had no trouble with the preparation of the horses,” Price said.
“I don’t need to see them blasting away in trackwork.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au