Freedman name set to be back in lights at Ascot

Artorius will bid to uphold Freedman family honour as he goes for gold in next Saturday’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Berkshire track is a familiar venue for joint-trainer Anthony Freedman, whose brother Lee sent out Miss Andretti to win the 2007 King’s Stand Stakes, improving on the effort of Falkirk who finished fourth in that race the previous year.

Freedman now trains in partnership with his son, Sam, who is in Britain to supervise preparations for the Flying Artie colt.

A Group One winner as juvenile, Artorius has clashed with Platinum Jubilee favourite and fellow Australian raider Home Affairs on a couple of occasions, finishing third to him at Flemington in October, before having him a couple of places behind when both were out the frame in the Newmarket Handicap on their latest starts.

Artorius was on show in Newmarket on Thursday morning, with big-race rider Jamie Spencer due to put him through his paces on Friday ahead of his Group One assignment.

Sam Freedman said: “He had a very steady canter today, we don’t do a lot with him. He’s pretty fit now so he’s just been hacking around. His rider was very pleased with him, he recovered quickly from his canter.

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“He will have his last piece of work tomorrow before the Platinum Jubilee, so hopefully that will go smoothly and he will have a good weekend.

“It’s not easy travelling them, but he seems to be going well so far.

“This horse is a little bit quirky, he’s not straightforward. Jamie will have a sit on him tomorrow morning and hopefully he’ll get on well with him.

“He’s travelled well – nothing has phased him. He lost 9kg on the flight and he’s put 14kg on since he arrived, so he needs a good gallop tomorrow. He’s coping with it all well at the moment.”

Miss Andretti was an Ascot winner for Lee Freedman
Miss Andretti was an Ascot winner for Lee Freedman (David Davies/PA)

Freedman thinks Artorius is a perfect Ascot candidate, judged on his family’s previous Royal meeting experiences.

He added: “Miss Andretti, Lee came over with her and had a lot of success and my dad came over with Falkirk who was fourth behind Takeover Target and quite unlucky. We identified this horse as the right one to bring over here. He’s a very sensible horse and very easy to train.”

Japanese star Shahryar is one of the flagship overseas contenders at this year’s fixture, having edged out Breeders’ Cup winner Yibir to win the Sheema Classic at Meydan on World Cup night.

The four-year-old is due to clash with the likes of Bay Bridge and previous winner Lord North in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

Via a translator, Hiroyasu Matsumoto, farm manager and vet from Northern Farms, said: We originally had plans to bring him to international races, so the Dubai trip came first and that experience was very much a benefit for the horse.

“It’s an honour to have the horse run at Royal Ascot. The team will try their best to have him produce his best performance at Royal Ascot.”

American trainer Graham Motion sent Sharing to finish second in the 2020 Coronation Stakes and again fields a contender in the fillies-only race over a mile.

Spenderella is his pick this time around and the daughter of Karakontie has won each of her three starts, culminating in a Grade Two win at Keeneland.

She faces a tough task at Ascot, with Cachet, Mangoustine and Homeless Songs – winners of the English, French and Irish 1000 Guineas respectively – due to line up, as is fellow American raider Pizza Bianca who beat Cachet at the Breeders’ Cup.

Motion’s assistant trainer Alice Clapham said: “We’re all very excited, she shipped over here great and seems to be handling everything very well right now, so we’re looking forward to next Friday.

“It was great to see her settling behind a horse (last time), she’s growing and getting better every time we’ve run her, so this was a great opportunity for us to bring her over here.

“It’s a big ask and a big step up for her, but it’s also a great opportunity and if she wins or is placed in Group One company at Royal Ascot, it would be huge.”

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