Artorius explosive in Sandown victory

Race experience has paved the way to victory for Artorius at his second race start when the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained two-year-old demolished his rivals in the Ladbrokes Switch Handicap (1300m) at Sandown on Saturday. 

A debut second at Geelong earlier in the month, Artiorius came from a rearwards position on the turn on Saturday to record a convincing win under Mark Zahra. 

Sent off the $3.40 favourite, Artorius recorded a 4-½ length win from El Rocko ($16) with Picarones ($4.40) a nose away third. 

TAB reacted to the victory, shortening Artorius from $51 to $15 for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 20. 

Artorious and Mark Zahra, picture Racing Photos

Sam Freedman said he and his father Anthony now have some thinking to do, whether keep him fresh and aim at the Blue Diamond Stakes or stretch him out in distance. 

“We’ll just have to work out where we go,” Sam Freedman said. 

“Whether we head towards a Blue Diamond, I’m not sure about the 1200 metres, he might be more of a 1400-metre horse. 

“He won so well there so we might have to give it some thought. 

“He took some necessary steps forward from his first-up run. He was very green and raw and didn’t know what he was doing. 

“Most of our horses tend to improve as they get deeper into their two-year-old campaign so the 1300 metres suited. 

“Initially the race was 1200 but we thought the 1300 would suit better.” 

Zahra said Artorius was impressive after the race was a bit messy early when forced to go back early from a wide draw. 

He said the pace did not feel strong and he wanted to be in a striking position early in the straight. 

“Sam said, and watching his last start and today, he’s quite dumb,” Zahra said. 

“Usually I wait a bit longer, but with a dumb horse I really wanted to stand over him and make him go. 

“I went for him and he let rip alright.” 

Zahra has no doubt Artorius will get a longer trip following his impressive victory. 

A two-year-old colt by Flying Artie from the Redoute’s Choice mare Gracie’s Lass, Artiorius has collected $75,050 in prize money from his two starts for Peake Racing, FOS Enterprises, Mr M J Davidson, Greenwich Stud Pty Ltd, Mrs M A Pearson, Mr M P Baker, Mrs L J Bruhn, Mr S W Bruhn, Mr B E Chapman, Mr P A Connor, Mr C D Charteris, Mr M A Connor, Mr L P Money, Hold Your Horses, Mr G A Wakefield, Mr P W Gardiner.