Flying Artie has upstaged a stellar line-up of sprinting colts, including his stablemate Extreme Choice, to land an important Group One win in the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.
Trainer Mick Price had labelled dual Group One winner Extreme Choice the best chance in Saturday’s 1200m straight-track sprint, but Flying Artie unleashed a powerful finish to surge clear of his rivals over the final 100m on Saturday.
With Hugh Bowman aboard after Damien Oliver was ruled out through suspension, Flying Artie ($10) defeated $2.80 favourite Astern by 1-1/4 lengths.
Schillaci Stakes winner Star Turn ($4.60) was a short half-head away in third.
Extreme Choice ($3.60) was fifth.
“The horse has always been a good horse and he’s had his excuses, especially in the Blue Diamond,” Price said.
“But today ranks him as a stud colt and I couldn’t be happier.”
Flying Artie was second in the Group One Blue Diamond last season and third in the Golden Slipper before requiring four months rest because of sesamoiditis.
He won the Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield first-up, a race in which his regular rider, Oliver, was banned for 20 meetings following a reckless riding charge.
Bowman picked up the ride and Price was full of praise for the star hoop’s navigation to get Flying Artie cover from barrier one up the straight and then produce him between runners nearer the outside of the track.
“I know it was a great ride, but they still have to have the horse underneath him and a lesser horse couldn’t have done it,” Price said.
“I just love that finally Flying Artie has nailed a good Group One and probably the Group One for three-year-old colts.”
Price thought the way Blue Diamond and Moir Stakes winner Extreme Choice has finished his races made him the leading chance of the stablemates.
“But it just didn’t happen today,” Price said.
“He remains a great colt. I’m not sure what happened today, but thank god I had two horses in it.”
Bowman rode Flying Artie for the first time in trackwork on Tuesday, and expects the colt only to improve as he matures.
“He’s the real deal physically, but I think mentally he appreciated being able to snug in behind them and be exposed late,” Bowman said.
“It was a dominant win and it spells very exciting things for a bright future because that was a very strong race.”
Golden Rose winner Astern tracked Russian Revolution on the outside rail before making his run, and jockey James McDonald said the colt had a fantastic race but probably levelled out like a 1400m horse.
“I thought he had the race won until that horse darted through late,” McDonald said.