Diamond doubt for Artorius despite win

By: Michael Manley Saturday 23 January 2021

An impressive runaway win by Artorius has left the training combination of Anthony and Sam Freedman in a quandary as to whether to tackle the Blue Diamond Stakes.

Artorius relished the wide open spaces of the Sandown Hillside track and the step up to 1300 metres to leave his rivals in his wake.

Starting a $3.40 favourite, Artorius grabbed the lead out wide with 300 metres to go and went on to win the two-year-old handicap by 4-1/2 lengths, defeating El Rocko ($16) with Picarones ($4.40) a nose away third.

TAB fixed odds markets reacted to the victory by tightening the winner from $51 to $15 for the Blue Diamond Stakes.

Co-trainer Sam Freedman said the Group One race was back in play for the son of Flying Artie but they would have to work out whether it was the best option.

"Whether we head towards a Blue Diamond, I'm not sure about the 1200 metres as he might be more of a 1400 metre horse," Freedman said.

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

Freedman said the colt had improved from his debut at Geelong where he finished second to Jigsaw but was raw and green.

"Most of our horses tend to improve as they get deeper into their two-year-old campaign so the 1300 metres suited," he said

Freedman described Artorius as bombproof and a straightforward horse to train.

His jockey Mark Zahra said Artorius was very impressive and would be suited by a longer distance.