Outstanding colt Flying Artie was a fast finishing second in the 2016 Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes behind Extreme Choice after drawing near the outside, but he got a measure of consolation for that defeat when his first crop son Artorius stormed to victory in the $1.5million juvenile classic at Caulfield on Saturday.
Prepared by Anthony and Sam Freedman, Artorious finished second in a maiden at Geelong on January 7 before going to Sandown on January 23 where he won an open juvenile contest by daylight.
Pitched into the Blue Diamond at his third start for his first Black Type test, Artorius was fitted with blinkers and produced a scintillating victory with Luke Currie in the saddle.
He charged to the line over the final furlong after settling back in the field to zoom past Ingratiating and win by three-quarters of a length giving first season sires Flying Artie and Frosted (USA() a Group I quinella.
“I thought he was a chance (at the 400m), but he raced a little bit on-and-off,” Currie said.
“I knew he was getting a good run through, but I thought he might struggle late, because he hadn’t really had a chance to travel down and quicken, but he just kept coming. It was an amazing feeling the last bit.”
Race favourite Enthaar faded after leading to finish sixth beaten three lengths.
“It’s a great feeling but there’s so many people behind this horse,” said co-trainer Sam Freedman.
“Rebecca Smith at Pinecliff, Steve Adams, Brad Taylor, Leanne Fielding, all our riders at Flemington.
“Having the family colours on today is a nice touch.”
Bred by Greg Perry, Artorius was purchased by Anthony Freedman Racing/Blue Sky Bloodstock P/L (FBAA) for $120,000 out of the Vinery Stud draft at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Sam Freedman praised his father for selecting Artorius as a yearling.
“Dad’s a very good judge of a yearling. We thought he was immature and just gave him time. Honestly, in the last six months he’s turned into a beast,” Sam Freedman said.
“1200 metres is probably short of his best distance. We’ll probably be targeting a Guineas in the spring.”
Artorius is the second winner from as many to race out of the unraced Redoute’s Choice mare Gracie’s Lass.
Also bred by Greg Perry, Gracie’s Lass is a half-sister to the Group 1 VRC Darley Classic winner Delectation out of the stakes-winning More Than Ready mare Grace And Power (USA) who was runner-up in the Grade 1 Hollywood Park Starlet Stakes.
Gracie’s Lass had a colt foal by Written Tycoon last spring and was then covered by Deep Field.
Artorius is the first stakes-winner and first Group I winner for Flying Artie, who covered 113 mares last year at a fee of $16,500.