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Extreme Choice and Flying Artie represent Mick Price��s hope in Golden Slipper


Caulfield trainer Mick Price will saddle up the first and second favourites in Saturday’s G1 Golden Slipper Stakes as he bids to win the world’s richest two-year-old race for the first time at Rosehill in Sydney on Saturday.

Price is represented by Extreme Choice and Flying Artie, who ran first and second in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield in February, on a day which features five Group 1 races and sees Australia’s current champion Winx contest the George Ryder Stakes.

“On ratings they look the two,” Price said of his pair, “and I know how well they are. I don’t think it’s a fillies year and while there’s a couple of good Sydney colts, I’m happy with my two. There’s not a lot between them but don’t underestimate Flying Artie as I think we might get to see the absolute best of him from the better draw.”

Price, who ran fourth in last year’s Slipper with Ready For Victory and third in 2012 with Samaready, said the barrier draw had cost Flying Artie dearly in the Blue Diamond. “He drew 15 and Damien (Oliver) had to go back and then he got speared off the track on the home turn just when he was building momentum,” he said. Flying Artie has drawn five and Extreme Choice gate seven on Saturday. Both will come in one slot if the emergency doesn’t gain a start.

Only three horses have won the Blue Diamond - Golden Slipper double in the past 30 years but another five Slipper winners, in that time, have contested the Caulfield race - which is run left handed - en route to the Rosehill feature run right handed.

Extreme Choice won on debut at Randwick, so he has the experience racing in both directions while Flying Artie’s three runs have been in Melbourne, two on his left handed home track Caulfield and the other down the straight course at Flemington.

Chris Waller, Australia’s dominant trainer of recent seasons, has no fewer than 17 runners at the Slipper meeting including the G1 Cox Plate winner Winx who will be opposed by stablemates Press Statement - arguably Australia’s best three-year-old - and Kermadec as well as five others in the Ryder Stakes.

Winx, unbeaten in two starts since last October’s memorable Cox Plate win and chasing her eighth consecutive win, is in great order according to the trainer.

“She’s fantastic. She does everything right and game day, she is so zoned in on that winning post she’s always hard to beat. I have great respect for Turn Me Loose and First Seal and we’ve got Press Statement and Kermadec there.”

“Kermadec can run well but I guess we know his level. Press Statement had no luck in the G1 Randwick Guineas and it would be important for him to win for his stud value but the public is behind Winx and it would be special if she won. I hopes she wins but I wouldn’t be shocked if Press Statement or Kermadec beat the mare….especially Press Statement. He could be the next boom horse,” Waller said.

The Murray Baker trained Turn Me Loose is generally considered the strongest chance among the non-Waller trained runners although he has never raced right-handed.

“He’s never raced the other way but he’s done a lot of work going right handed and he’s won two trials that way. I don’t think it will worry him but it’s a big ask, this race. She (Winx) is a super horse,” Baker said.

As a result of a change of race order, the Hong Kong Jockey Club will simulcast the Birthday Card Stakes (G3 1200m) on 19 March instead of the N E Manion Cup as announced on 14 March. Start time of the first simulcast race on Golden Slipper Day remains the same at Hong Kong time 10:50am.


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