Artorius Ready For G1 Challenge In France

Four could be the magic number for Anthony and Sam Freedman’s talented sprinter, Artorius.

The recently turned four-year-old will have had a four-week gap between runs as of Sunday’s Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in France, and it’s a gap that’s worked successfully in the past.

“I think he probably enjoyed this month between runs, having run in two pretty truly run contests, so I think he’s appreciated this gap between runs, which, funnily enough I think, is the exact same gap he won the Blue Diamond with,” trainer Sam Freedman said.

“Hopefully, it’s another recipe for success with him.”

Artorius has had two starts this European summer in the United Kingdom, finishing third in both the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket.

“He’s done really well out of the run at Newmarket,” he said.

“It looks a nice race for him, we’re hopeful that the track will suit, they do a lot of racing on that Deauville surface at this time of year but he’s holding his form, we haven’t had to do a lot with him, he’s very fit.”

The Flying Artie colt is renowned for his get back, run on style of racing, and will step up to 1300m for his assignment in France.

“It looks like it should be a suitable trip,” he said.

“I think everyone can sort of agree, if a lot of the races he’s run in were 100m further, he probably gets very close in a lot of them. We still want nice pace but hopefully it’s just not relentless the whole way and maybe he can just get a suck up behind them and show a good finish and be in touch with them.”

Freedman confirmed that Jamie Spencer, who’s been in the saddle in both of his runs in the northern hemisphere, will be in the saddle again this Sunday.

The young trainer has expressed his gratitude before to those that have helped him look after Artorius during the horse’s time in the UK, but admitted that it’s been a different experience training him from the other side of the world over the last few weeks.

In the absence of the trainer, Artorius’ regular strapper David Crofts has continued to oversee the colt’s preparation from Newmarket.

“It’s a difficult task, I’m sure any trainer can say that, because unless you are seeing them yourself, you’re relying on little signs and feedback from everyone involved with him at the moment,” he said.

Freedman is due to fly out on Thursday to France to be there in person for Artorius’ tilt at Group 1 glory at Deauville, while his horse will leave Newmarket on Thursday night British time.

“It’ll be about a 12-hour trip, probably no different from him going from Melbourne to Sydney, I suppose, it’s a very similar sort of trip, so he’s got to tick that box, and travel well, and settle in there in Deauville.

“He’ll arrive there on Friday morning, he’ll have a couple of easy days and then he’ll be into the race on Sunday.”

The Prix Maurice de Gheest is currently scheduled to be run at 11.55pm AEST on Sunday.


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