Artorius Being Set For British Assault

Last year’s Blue Diamond winner Artorius is back in work ahead of his intended two-start campaign in Britain.

Co-trainer Sam Freedman told that Artorius has been kept ticking over ahead of his departure from Melbourne on June 1.

“He won’t trial until around mid-May, we’ll look to give him two trials and get him nice and fit before he flies out, so we don’t have to do too much with him over there,” said Freedman, who trains in partnership with his father Anthony.

The three-year-old Flying Artie entire is being aimed at the £350,000 (A$600,000) G1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes (1207m) at Royal Ascot on June 18, followed by the £500,000 (A$900,000) G1 Darley July Cup (1207m) at Newmarket’s July Course on July 9.

“Winning either race will do, but the stiff, uphill finish of the July Cup I think is really going to suit him,” Freedman said.

Artorius hasn’t won since the Blue Diamond but placed in the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and has experienced plenty of misfortune due to his tendency to leave the starting stalls slowly.

He again had a tale of woe when finishing sixth at his latest start in the $1.5m G1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.

Artorius lost ground by switching sides of the track, only for the placegetters to come from where he originally jumped, as he finished three lengths behind longshot winner Roch ‘N’ Horse.

At least three Australian horses are expected to travel to Britain for their summer, with Artorius likely to be joined by the Chris Waller-trained pair Nature Strip and Home Affairs.

Connections of Zaaki and Verry Elleegant are yet to confirm whether they will participate over Europe’s summer period, following their respective second and fifth placings in last Saturday’s $4m G1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.


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