Co-trainer Anthony Freedman combined with jockey Luke Currie to win a second Group 1 $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday with the progressive Artorius scoring an upset in the two-years-old classic.
Freedman and Currie won the autumn feature two years ago with the filly Lyre, the duo back in 2021 to celebrate another this time at 14/1 with nicely-bred Flying Artie colt Artorius.
After a second at Geelong on January 7, Artorius broke his maiden status a fortnight later at Sandown-Hillside with a powerhouse 4.5 length win over 1300m in a two-years-old handicap.
It was a tougher assignment going up in class to face the best juveniles of the season in the Blue Diamond Stakes, but coming back in distance and weight, plus the addition of blinkers had Artorius absolutely flying late.
“It’s a big thrill,” Freedman’s son and co-trainer Sam, celebrating his first Group 1 success, told Racing Victoria after the race.
“It’s a great feeling. There’s so many people behind this team.
“(Adding the blinkers) definitely was (the key). The blinkers…sharpened him up. He’s come here and done it today.
“Honestly, just the last six months he’s become an absolute beast.”
Race favourite was the previously undefeated filly Enthaar who went out extremely wide to lead the field around looking to go all-the-way for the punters.
She was swamped late however as a host of other runners made their move including the fast-finishing Artorius.
After charging home the final 50m, the Blue Diamond winner had three-quarters of a length to spare on the line over the brave James Cummings-trained Ingratiating who, on the quick back-up from a Listed win at HQ last weekend, was excellent in second.
Cummings for the Godolphin stable also ran third in the Blue Diamond Stakes results with the Prelude runner-up Anamoe the widest on the turn before holding out Finance Tycoon to round out the trifecta.
It was an atoning performance by Artorius in ways as he was able to go one better than the second of his sire Flying Artie in the 2016 Blue Diamond Stakes results behind Extreme Choice.
“Shades of his sire there,” Freedman added.
“But he went one better. He’s a son of flying Artie so he’s a very valuable horse now.”
Freedman confirmed plans to target the Guineas races of the spring over further with Artorius.
Flying Artie also ran third in that year’s Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m).
While not nominated for the classic on March 20 at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Artorius pays $8 in all-in Golden Slipper markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.