Trainer Mick Price and jockey Joao Moreira still have a genuine chance in the Newmarket Handicap despite Flying Artie being ruled out of the Group One sprint.
Stablemate Extreme Choice will now run with Flying Artie out of calculations for Saturday’s 1200m-straight race at Flemington after being scoped following trackwork on Tuesday.
“A normal scope just revealed a bit of mucus and I’m not happy with that,” Price said.
“I just think he’s got a low-grade lung infection.
“He walked past me after he galloped this morning and still had a big blow and I just think that’s not right for a horse going into a Newmarket.
“Extreme Choice had a gallop and wouldn’t have blown a candle out and that’s how they should be.
“I just couldn’t have run him based on that. We’ll try to get him ready for the TJ Smith Stakes (on April 1).”
Dual Group One-winning colt Extreme Choice was to be saved to run in the William Reid Stakes later this month but is now set to be a Newmarket acceptor with Moreira switching from Flying Artie.
“We had Moreira sitting there so I thought we’ll accept with Extreme Choice and have a look at the race and see how we go with Moreira on,” Price said.
Extreme Choice ran home strongly for third in the Oakleigh Plate first-up and Price said he was in perfect order.
“He’s bounced out well from that run and I’m very happy with him,”Price said.
Extreme Choice is now the second favourite at $6 behind Spieth at $3.50.
Moreira, who rode a Hong Kong record eight winners at one meeting on Sunday, won the 2015 Newmarket on three-year-old Brazen Beau while Price won the race with Lankan Rupee a year earlier.