MICK Price was confident that he would win the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, but whether he thought the win would come from Flying Artie is the big question.
Price told the media earlier in the week that stablemate Extreme Choice would win, but it was Blue Sapphire Stakes winner Flying Artie ($11 at WilliamHill) which proved to be the best three-year-old sprinter in the country.
The son of Artie Schiller ran greenly last time out when winning the Blue Sapphire, but it put everything together at Flemington on Saturday in beating the best young sprinters in Australia.
“I thought that race (Blue Sapphire) had improved him fitness wise and today he dominated,” Price said. “He’s won the right Group one hasn’t he?
“Just rapt that finally Flying Artie has nailed a good Group one and probably the Group one for three-year-olds.”
Price only had good things to say about Hugh Bowman’s ride after the colt drew the awkward inside barrier.
“I did think the outside of the race held a lot of the pressure, so for him to get into the middle of them, it’s just Hughie Bowman, fantastic,” Price said. “I know it was a great ride, but he still had to have the horse underneath him.”
Bowman landed the ride after regular rider Damien Oliver copped a suspension when winning the Blue Sapphire Stakes and he believes the colt is one to watch in the future.
“He’s a super horse, I will give a little mention to Damien Oliver because this is his horse. Through similar circumstances he was here winning the Derby on Preferment a few years ago, so to get the opportunity to ride him… beautiful horse,” Bowman said
“He’s only going to improve as he matures, he’s the real deal physically, but I think mentally he appreciated just being able to be snugged in behind them and exposed late.
“It was a dominant win and it spells very exciting things for a bright future because that was a very strong race. It was dynamic.”
Price wasn’t tempted to run Flying Artie in the Group 1 Darley Classic next Saturday and will instead target the autumn.
“We don’t have to, I’m not in favour of using horses when you don’t have to, today has franked him at stud,” Price said. “He has a brilliant autumn ahead of him, I wouldn’t probably risk it.”
Astern wasn’t disgraced in second, but the star colt had every chance to win. Star Turn battled on gamely along the inside of runners, but the disappointing run came from Moir Stakes winner Extreme Choice which failed to make any impression over the 1200m.