French Target Next For Artorius?

Australian raider Artorius could head to France for the next stop in his European summer campaign, with the Prix Maurice de Gheest suggested as a target for the July Cup third.

Connections felt he was not suited by the undulations of Newmarket’s July course when finishing two lengths behind Alcohol Free.

Artorius filled the same spot last month in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, where he was beaten three-quarters of a length by Naval Crown. That form was confirmed, with Naval Crown half a length ahead of him in second this time.

Deauville on August 7 is the next date in the calendar for Artorius and a return to Britain in 12 months’ time was also mooted.

“He’s run up to his form at Royal Ascot with the other horses filling the places and we may well go for the Prix Maurice de Gheest next, but we’ll see how he is after the race,” co-trainer Sam Freedman said.

“He’s a three-year-old weighted as a four-year-old, which is a tall order, and there’s every chance we’ll come back next year when he’ll be better weighted.”

Artorius joins Choisir in 2003 and Alverta seven years later as the only Australian-trained horses to place in the race July Cup. Starspangledbanner, formerly trained by Team Corstens, won the race in 2010 in the care of Aidan O’Brien.

One of the fancied chances when markets opened for the July Cup, Artorius drifted in betting markets to $9 with the Andrew Balding-trained winner paying $15.

– racing.com

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