Three-year-old Extreme Choice has made stunning return to racing to upstage an elite field in the Group One Moir Stakes including the world’s highest rated sprinter.
The Blue Diamond Stakes winner had Chautuaqua on his back coming to the home turn in Friday night’s weight-for-age 1000m sprint at Moonee Valley but left him in his wake.
He reeled in the frontrunners with an explosive finish to defeat Heatherly by 1-1/4 lengths with a short half head to Wild Rain.
Chautauqua ran into fourth, just over three lengths from the winner, while Buffering battled on for fifth.
The performance left Extreme Choice’s jockey Craig Newitt glowing in his praise.
“I think he went to a whole new level tonight,” Newitt said.
“I’d like to know the split from the 400 metre mark to the 200. He went like a rocket. I haven’t had one let go like that. Not for that little sectional around the bend which I’ve always said is this horse’s best attribute.
“He had the best sprinter in the world sitting on his backside and he left him behind. It doesn’t happen very often.”
Trainer Mick Price and the connections targeted the Moir against older horses in a bid to enhance the colt”s future stud value.
And they got the desired result.
But Price revealed he almost didn’t run the colt after he drew the widest barrier in the nine-horse field.
He said after looking at the race they decided Extreme Choice’s best chance was to be ridden quietly.
“In the end we thought it’s a Group One and we didn’t want to take a backward step,” Price said.
“He’s a good colt and he just proved tonight he’s a real stud colt.”
Extreme Choice made it four wins – two at Group One level – from five starts with his only defeat in the Golden Slipper.
He will now head to the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Chautauqua’s jockey Dwayne Dunn said he could not tack on to field early before he got on to the back of Extreme Choice.
“I thought he was going to really pick up underneath me (before the home turn) and thought I had them covered, and the winner just put two lengths on me,” Dunn said.
“I struggled off the top bend and really didn’t hit top gear until I hit the post. He’s probably looking for 1200 metres.”