Artorius Set For Audacious Royal Ascot And Everest Double

Artorius | Bronwen Healy

Group 1 winner Artorius (Aus) (Flying Artie {Aus}) will likely return to Royal Ascot this year seeking to better his third-place finish behind Naval Crown (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. in 2022, co-owner Henry Field of Newgate Farm told TDN Aus/NZ.

“As long as he's going well and he's healthy, that's definitely the plan,” Field said. “He was unluckily beaten last year in the Platinum Jubilee when he was held up at a vital stage, and I think he can go back there. There's no question he's got the ability, and he's more seasoned from the experience.”

Before Ascot, the 4-year-old is set to make his seasonal debut in the G1 Canterbury S. at Royal Randwick on Mar. 4. Leading Hong Kong jockey Zac Purton will be aboard and will ride in his native Australia for the first time since the 2018 G1 Melbourne Cup.

“Artorius is a very important horse to us,” Field said. “He has such an elite profile that we had to think outside the square rider-wise, and Zac is one of the dominant riders anywhere in the world right now. He's probably as good a rider as there's ever been in Hong Kong, and a very strong rider that we thought would suit Artorius nicely.”

Artorius was also third in the G1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket and hasn't run since a sixth-place finish in the G1 Arc Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Aug. 7.

The colt will likely return to Australia to contest the G1 Everest S. at Royal Randwick on Oct. 14 in what will likely be his final start in that richest sprint race the world has to offer at A$15.

“I'd say it will be very likely he'll be retired to stud at the end of this season, but I do genuinely believe he is a horse with enough natural ability to win an Everest, so those conversations will be had with the ownership group,” Field said.

Artorius has not won a race since taking the 2021 G1 Blue Diamond S. but has placed in five Group 1s. He won a trial race at Warwick Farm last week in preparation for his comeback. His career line stands at 14-2-3-4 and he has amassed A$1,808,349 in prize-money.

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