Damien Oliver says he will make a decision on his Blue Diamond ride in the next 24 hours after winning on Flying Artie at Caulfield.
The champion jockey has the pick of the Mick Price-trained juveniles Extreme Choice and Flying Artie in the $1.5 million race at Caulfield on February 27.
Oliver rode Extreme Choice to victory in the Chairman’s Stakes at Caulfield on February 6 before scoring on Flying Artie in the colts and geldings division of the Blue Diamond Prelude on Saturday.
Extreme Choice heads Blue Diamond betting at $2.50 with Flying Artie firming from $11 into $5.50 second choice after his short-neck win.
“I’m not going to make it (a decision) on the spur of the moment,” Oliver said.
“They’re two different types of horses. The other bloke has great speed and this bloke has the potential to get over further.
“Both are going to be great rides and Mick’s got two great chances.”
Backed from $3.50 into $2.70 favouritism, Flying Artie covered ground from his wide draw before overpowering Star Turn ($7) with China Dream ($26) 2-1/4 lengths away third.
Price said Flying Artie would benefit from Saturday’s victory and would appreciate the 1200m of the Blue Diamond.
He said Flying Artie’s extended run to make up the leeway had impressed him.
“They can’t fluke it,” Price said.
“He’s a red-hot chance in the Blue Diamond.”
Price may also be represented by China Dream in Melbourne’s premier two-year-old race.
There wasn’t much between the two divisions of the Preludes on times with Flying Artie running 0.07secs faster than fillies winner Samara Dancer.
Samara Dancer and runner-up Concealer share the third line of Blue Diamond betting at $8.
Samara Dancer bled from one nostril and Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said she would need to gallop in front of stipes over 1000m before racing again.
Tony McEvoy was thrilled with Concealer’s effort after she was slow to get into stride.
“I feel like a winner without actually winning,” he said.