Flying Artie firms in 2016 Blue Diamond Stakes odds

Champion jockey Damien Oliver says he is relying on gut feeling in deciding on Flying Artie as his Blue Diamond mount.

Oliver had the choice to ride the Mick Price-trained Extreme Choice or his stablemate Flying Artie in Melbourne’s premier two-year-old race at Caulfield on February 27.

He opted for Flying Artie after guiding the two-year-old to victory in the colts and gelding’s Prelude at Caulfield on Saturday.

Flying Artie firmed from $5.50 to $3.80 after Oliver announced he would ride him instead of Extreme Choice who he rode to win the Chairman’s Stakes on February 6.

Craig Newitt will now ride Extreme Choice and that colt retains favouritism at $2.70.

“There was very little between them,” Oliver told Melbourne radio station RSN.

“I was really taken by Flying Artie’s win on Saturday and I think there’s a bit of improvement to come out of him too.

“I just hope I’ve made the right decision. If I haven’t the other horse will be a worthy winner.”

Extreme Choice is yet to race beyond 1000 metres while Oliver is confident Flying Artie will hit the line strongly at the 1200m of the Blue Diamond.

He said the colt had the adaptability to take a position or come from off the speed as he did on Saturday.

“I think from a good draw he could be in a good position and I won’t have to ride him back,” Oliver said.

“He’s quite versatile in the way you can ride him.”

Oliver’s only Blue Diamond Stakes win came in 2004 on Alinghi who he rates as the best two-year-old he has ridden.


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