Confident Freedman Targets Ascot Glory with Artorius
Australian raider, Artorius, returns to the Royal Ascot on Saturday week and trainer Sam Freedman is confident that his four-year-old can go two places better than finishing third in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes last year.
The son of Flying Artie was somewhat unfortunate in the six-furlong Group One race 12 months ago. Despite seeing his progress hampered throughout the contest, he ran on strongly from a position at the rear of the field to be beaten by less than a length.
Artorius went on to place in the July Cup before running well at Deauville in Prix Maurice de Gheest. Now returning for his second appearance at this summer showpiece, Freedman believes that Artorius is ready to make amends for last year’s narrow defeat.
Freedman revealed that Artorius has traveled over well and only lost 4kg on the flight compared to losing 9kg last year. Since arriving in Newmarket last Thursday night, he has put on between 6-7kg and looks like thriving ahead of next week’s big race.
Last Tuesday morning saw him have an easy workout quickening up for a furlong while tomorrow morning will see him do his main piece of work at Ascot. This preparation seems ideal as he is stronger than ever before thanks partly due to not having raced since winning Group One honors at Randwick earlier this year – then going on finish fourth behind Anamoe who has been unstoppable this season so far!
Freedman wants “a little more practical speed” from Artorious this time around – hoping if he can be three or four lengths closer than 12 months ago, it will help. This is something they have been working on for the past year as their focus has been to get him to relax and in his comfort zone.
Artorius was ridden by Jamie Spencer when picking up the bronze medal in 2022 but this time around he will be partnered by Antipodean ace James McDonald who knows the horse pretty well having done some work with him at home. Freedman believes that McDonald’s experience with Artorious’ speed from previous competitions should prove helpful in unlocking that little extra required to find Ascot’s scoresheet.
The Final Word
Freedman says: “At the level we are going to race at, being one of Europe’s best sprint races, you can’t afford to be giving away a lead with only a couple of furlongs left – you’re probably not going to pick them up.”
All eyes will certainly be on Artorious next week as he seeks redemption and looks set ready for an exciting day ahead!