Connections weigh up Royal Ascot option for Artorius

The Anthony and Sam Freedman-stable are in discussions with the ownership group of Artorius over a possible trip to England for the Royal Ascot meeting.

The Chris Waller-trained pair of Nature Strip and Home Affairs along with the Leon and Troy Corstens-trained Swats That have already been spoken of as potential Royal Ascot attendees this year.

Sam Freedman said the idea of running Artorius on the straight track at the Royal Ascot meeting and then at Newmarket made a lot of sense.

Freedman said the Group 1 T J Smith (1200m) and the Group 1 All-Aged Stakes (1400m), both at Randwick, were likely alternatives.

“We’re in discussions with the ownership group and there is a thought we may take him over to England for the Diamond Jubilee and July Cup,” Freedman told RSN.

“We are giving that a bit of thought. Nothing is set in concrete, but we think that a really stiff six furlongs (1200m) at Ascot and at Newmarket might suit him.

“The alternative is to head to the T J Smith and the All-Aged Stakes.

“I know he didn’t win on Saturday, and he got beaten in the Coolmore, but some of his straight track runs, we think, have been some of his best and at Ascot and Newmarkket, six furlongs is a testing track, and you probably want a horse that can run 1400 (metres), which is certainly him.”

Artorius came from last in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday to finish sixth after switching from the inside of the track to the grandstand side.

It was a premeditated move that Freedman said the stable needs to own after the placegetters were all on flat side of the track.

“We thought getting over to the stand side where the main chances and the speed was drawn felt like the right thing to do before the race,” Freedman said.

“Everyone is an expert after the race and in hindsight it would have been nice to stay to the inside and he might have been right in the finish if so.”

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