Artorius Set For Sydney Kick-Off

A familiarising gallop at Randwick has globetrotting sprinter Artorius on target to tackle an intriguing Canterbury Stakes field headlined by star New Zealander Imperatriz and three-year-old Golden Mile.

The 2021 Blue Diamond Stakes winner, Artorius has not been victorious since claiming the major, however he has been twice Group 1 placed as a spring three-year-old in Melbourne and again during a European sojourn last year when third in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket.

The entire returns to Australian racing for the first time since then in Saturday’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and part-owner and Newgate Farm proprietor Henry Field says the race is shaping as an exciting contest, particularly with the belated addition of four-time New Zealand Group 1 winner Imperatriz.

“The New Zealand horse has been entered and I think that will add a big dimension,” Field said.

“It’s probably the highest rated New Zealand horse to come over here for a long time.

“It will be a hot Canterbury Stakes but we’re a live chance and we’ve got Zac Purton coming down to ride him.”

Artorius has raced twice in Sydney, finishing sixth in Stay Inside’s Golden Slipper and fourth to In The Congo in the 2021 Golden Rose, both at Rosehill.

Trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman gave him an exhibition gallop at Randwick on Chipping Norton Stakes Day with heavyweight Rory Hutchings in the saddle and Field said the feedback from the jockey was positive.

“He hasn’t been around here before so Sam and Anthony wanted to give him a look around the track,” Field said.

“He is a very casual trackworker, but Rory was very pleased with his work so that’s great. That will top him off nicely.”

A backmarker, Artorius has drawn barrier eight for the Canterbury Stakes, immediately outside the Mark Walker-trained Imperatriz who will be ridden by James Mcdonald.

Field said autumn plans for Artorius were not set in stone but a good performance on Saturday could see him head to the T J Smith Stakes (1200m) during The Championships.

– RAS NewsWire

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