Blue Diamond Stakes 2016 favourites drift after draw

The barrier draw for the Blue Diamond Stakes hasn’t been kind for two of Mick Price’s favoured runners in the Group One race.

Favourite Extreme Choice drew barrier 13 for Saturday’s $1.5 million feature at Caulfield while stablemate Flying Artie fared worse in barrier 17.

Price has a third runner, China Dream, which drew between his top picks in 14.

Following Tuesday’s barrier draw Extreme Choice has drifted from $2.60 to $2.80 with Flying Artie easing to $3.80.

Champion jockey Damien Oliver had the choice of both runners and settled on Flying Artie after his win in the Prelude at Caulfield on February 13.

Price said the draw for Flying Artie, who will jump from barrier 15 if the three emergency runners don’t gain a start, faces a bigger task than Extreme Choice.

Flying Artie came from the widest draw when successful in the Prelude and Price said Saturday’s race was a far different proposition.

“I thought in the Prelude inside of barrier 10 there was a lot of first starters and the busy part of the race was out where we were,” Price said.

“This is a different race as there are faster two-year-olds spread across the 16 gates.

“It’s definitely a tougher job for him and he’s going to need a bit of luck.

“He might have to be one of the closers.”

Price would have preferred drawing in a bit further with Extreme Choice but said the colt should be able to settle where jockey Craig Newitt wants to.

While he’s led in his two wins to date, Price took advantage of sitting off a partner in trackwork on Tuesday.

“He hasn’t been in amongst traffic so from out there he should have a trouble-free run and be hard to beat,” Price said.

He said his third runner China Dream will be handy to the speed from his draw but the other two horses have the edge on him.

“From two months ago when you make these plans things have gone perfectly for all three in the race and I wouldn’t change anything,” Price said.

“It’s a little bit messy for my horses with those barriers but they go in there spot-on and can win if good enough.”


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