Tag Archive for: Artorius

Artorius pleases in Newmarket spin before July Cup bid

Jamie Spencer teamed up with his Darley July Cup mount Artorius on the July Course on Friday morning.

The Australian sprinter, trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman, finished with a late flourish in the Platinum Jubilee to claim third behind the Godolphin duo of Naval Crown and Creative Force.

Unlike his compatriot and King’s Stand winner Nature Strip, Artorius has stayed in the UK in an attempt to become the first Australian winner of the race.

He worked with the Harry Eustace-trained Ancient Times, with the pair finishing upsides after four furlongs.

“The work went really well. They just went four furlongs and quickened up the last 400 yards. He really started to hit top gear the last 100 yards,” said Sam Freedman.

“A really good part of his attitude is that he never overdoes it and he conserves his energy. That was as good as I’ve seen him work for a while. He seemed to handle the track well enough.

“If anything he has probably improved a tad for the run as he hadn’t run since March. He is now in an established routine and we hope he can improve again on his next start.

“The stiffer the finish at Newmarket will be better for him as that is when he is doing his best work and horses up on the speed are tiring.

“A slightly smaller field is probably not as ideal as I do think he does enjoying being among them but if they go a good tempo, which they usually do over here, then he can settle and finish off well.”

July Cup contender Artorius to get Newmarket sighter on Friday

Darley July Cup second-favourite Artorius is set to get his first taste of the July Course in a Friday morning workout under Jamie Spencer.

The Australian raider heads the market for Newmarket’s six-furlong showpiece on Saturday week after charging home to dead-heat for third place in the Platinum Jubilee at Royal Ascot earlier this month.

Following a short holiday Sam Freedman, who trains Artorius in partnership with his father Anthony, has returned to the UK to put the finishing touches to the star sprinter’s July Cup preparations – and is looking forward to seeing how he takes to Newmarket’s undulations.

Freedman said: “The horse has done really well since Ascot. He’s is nice and fit after that run, so he’ll have one piece of work on Friday and that should see him pretty ready for the July Cup.

“He hasn’t been there (July Course), so Friday will be his first look. The course is an unknown, but I think the tougher the race the better it is for him.

“It’s undulating and he’s a bit quirky, but once he’s had a look at the track I think it should hold him in good stead.”

Having developed a habit of being a slow starter in his races, connections booked renowned hold-up jockey Spencer to ride at the Royal meeting.

After encountering traffic problems, he was ultimately beaten just three-quarters of a length and Freedman admits his running style means he will always be a hostage to fortune.

He added: “He’s always going to need that bit of luck, but when things go right and he gets the breaks at the right time he has what it takes to be right there at the finish.

Jamie Spencer will ride Artorius in the July Cup
Jamie Spencer will ride Artorius in the July Cup (Tim Goode/PA)

“It’s a long way to come to take that sort of risk, but he showed at Ascot he is up to taking on those top sprinters and certainly justified the decision by all the owners to bring him over.

“The job’s not done yet, so hopefully he can go a couple of places better next week.”

While the team left no stone unturned in preparation for the Royal meeting, Freedman believes there is every chance an even better version of Artorius could be seen at Newmarket.

“His coat has definitely improved and he should make natural improvement having not run since March before he ran at Ascot,” said Freedman.

“His work and everything since suggests he’s a little bit more switched on. He certainly hasn’t gone backwards anyway.”

State Of Rest could clash with Baaeed, as O’Brien suggests plans to come back to a mile

Joseph O’Brien has raised the possibility of a fascinating clash with Baaeed in the Qatar Sussex Stakes for State Of Rest.

While the Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner is not currently entered, O’Brien has not ruled out the option of supplementing the multiple Group One winner for the Goodwood showpiece on July 27.

Should that not happen, the Prix Jacques le Marois, also over a mile, could be on his agenda.

“State Of Rest may come back to a mile for his next run,” said O’Brien.

Could Baaeed face a challenge from State Of Rest at Goodwood?
Could Baaeed face a challenge from State Of Rest at Goodwood? (David Davies/PA)

“We are looking at the Sussex, even though I didn’t enter him! He could end up being supplemented for that.

“We are also looking at the Jacques le Marois and the Juddmonte. The Eclipse will come a bit soon, I’d say.

“He’s shown loads of speed on his last couple of runs.”

The four-year-old landed his fourth Group One prize last week when securing an all-the-way length victory at Royal Ascot under Shane Crosse at 5-1.

That triumph followed a Prix Ganay win and victory further afield as the colt is also the current title-holder of the Saratoga Derby and the Cox Plate.

A return to the latter race is the probable final destination for the bay, who has many Australian connections via ownership group the State Of Rest Partnership.

Henry Field, co-owner and managing director of Newgate Stud, told Racing.com: “Joseph O’Brien, who many consider the child prodigy – the best young trainer on the planet – he loves Australia. Australia’s his special place.

State Of Rest at Ascot
State Of Rest at Ascot (Adam Davy/PA)

“He’s a horse that’s won Group Ones in America, France, one of the most prestigious Group Ones at Royal Ascot and a Cox Plate.

“It would be very special to try to put back-to-back Cox Plates together and I think Joseph thinks this is the horse to do it.

“He loves the horse, it’s rare that I’ve heard a trainer speak as fondly about a horse as I’ve heard Joseph speaking about this horse.

“That’s testimony to the fact that he’s just a tough animal, he’s very talented, he’s very consistent and he just gives you his all.

“He’s a very rare animal, this horse, and I think back-to-back Cox Plates would be very fitting on his resume and he’d be very hard to beat.”

State Of Rest returning to the Ascot paddock
State Of Rest returning to the Ascot paddock (David Davies/PA)

Some consideration will also be given to the Breeders’ Cup bid late in the season, but the Cox Plate is the favoured destination and would likely be State Of Rest’s final run before retirement to stud.

“He’s a four-year-old now and he’s really got nothing left to prove, he’s won the biggest Group Ones in both hemispheres, I would say that would be his swansong,” said Field.

“More than likely he will go to the Cox Plate, it’s possible he could go to the Breeders’ Cup in Kentucky in November but the Cox Plate is the more likely target.

“It would add great theatre to the race to have this horse who came on the radar of so many people in the Cox Plate last year – it’s made him who he is.”

Field’s stud is also involved in the ownership of Artorius, trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman to finish third in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Artorius (number two) in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes
Artorius (number two) in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes (Aaron Chown/PA)

The July Cup is the colt’s next target, a race in which he is expected to team up with Jamie Spencer once again.

“It was an enormous performance by Artorius. He just needs the luck, with the nature of his racing pattern he just needs the luck,” said Field.

“He’s got such brilliant acceleration, I thought Jamie Spencer rode him well. I said to the owners that I thought he was going to go to stud, he was not travelling at all and then he just finds two or three gears in the space of a couple of strides.

“He just accelerates, he’s doing his best work late. He’s absolutely flying at the furlong pole.

“He ran enormous, even at the line he was still hitting it hard and he’s run a massive third.

“It was definitely the run of the race, for sure, he’ll run in the July Cup in a few weeks.

“I think he’s second-favourite in the market at the moment, Jamie Spencer was mad keen to keep the ride. I think he’ll go to that race with a huge chance.”

Cox Plate defence likely to be major aim for State Of Rest

Joseph O’Brien’s State of Rest is likely to sign off his career with a defence of his Cox Plate title in October.

The four-year-old landed his fourth Group One prize last week when winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal meeting, securing an all-the-way one-length victory under Shane Crosse at 5-1.

That triumph followed a Prix Ganay win and victory further afield as the colt is also the current titleholder of the Saratoga Derby and the Cox Plate.

A return to the latter race is now a probable target for the bay, who has many Australian connections via ownership group the State Of Rest Partnership.

Henry Field, co-owner and managing director of Newgate Stud, told Racing.com: “Joseph O’Brien, who many consider the child prodigy – the best young trainer on the planet – he loves Australia. Australia’s his special place.

State Of Rest at Ascot
State Of Rest at Ascot (Adam Davy/PA)

“He’s a horse that’s won Group Ones in America, France, one of the most prestigious Group Ones at Royal Ascot and a Cox Plate.

“It would be very special to try to put back-to-back Cox Plates together and I think Joseph thinks this is the horse to do it.

“He loves the horse, it’s rare that I’ve heard a trainer speak as fondly about a horse as I’ve heard Joseph speaking about this horse.

“That’s testimony to the fact that he’s just a tough animal, he’s very talented, he’s very consistent and he just gives you his all.

“He’s a very rare animal, this horse, and I think back-to-back Cox Plates would be very fitting on his resume and he’d be very hard to beat.”

State Of Rest returning to the Ascot paddock
State Of Rest returning to the Ascot paddock (David Davies/PA)

Some consideration will also be given to the Breeders’ Cup bid late in the season, but the Cox Plate is the favoured destination and would likely be State Of Rest’s final run before retirement to stud.

“He’s a four-year-old now and he’s really got nothing left to prove, he’s won the biggest Group Ones in both hemispheres, I would say that would be his swansong,” said Field.

“More than likely he will go to the Cox Plate, it’s possible he could go to the Breeders’ Cup in Kentucky in November but the Cox Plate is the more likely target.

“It would add great theatre to the race to have this horse who came on the radar of so many people in the Cox Plate last year – it’s made him who he is.”

Field’s stud is also involved in the ownership of Artorius, trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman to finish third in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Artorius (number two) in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes
Artorius (number two) in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes (Aaron Chown/PA)

The July Cup is the colt’s next target, a race in which he is expected to team up with Jamie Spencer once again.

“It was an enormous performance by Artorius. He just needs the luck, with the nature of his racing pattern he just needs the luck,” said Field.

“He’s got such brilliant acceleration, I thought Jamie Spencer rode him well. I said to the owners that I thought he was going to go to stud, he was not travelling at all and then he just finds two or three gears in the space of a couple of strides.

“He just accelerates, he’s doing his best work late. He’s absolutely flying at the furlong pole.

“He ran enormous, even at the line he was still hitting it hard and he’s run a massive third.

“It was definitely the run of the race, for sure, he’ll run in the July Cup in a few weeks.

“I think he’s second-favourite in the market at the moment, Jamie Spencer was mad keen to keep the ride. I think he’ll go to that race with a huge chance.”

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.

“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.”