Purton Grabs Gr1 Double At Randwick

Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes next for Artorius

Zac Purton flew in from Hong Kong and took the two Gr1’s at Randwick – riding the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Artorius to the Canterbury Stakes and then Michael Freedman, he powered Communist to victory in the Randwick Guineas.

Former star juvenile and recent globetrotting sprint star Artorius made a booming return to the track on Saturday when he stormed home to win the Gr1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick.

Stepping out for the first time since three close up Gr1 efforts in Europe’s finest sprints, Artorius weaved a passage in the straight under the masterful Zac Purton to mow down fellow Magic Millions sold runner Imperatriz in a powerful performance.

Sydney’s feature autumn sprint is now on the cards after the stunning first up win of the four-year-old entire by Flying Artie.

Artorius, who won a Blue Diamond Stakes with a booming performance as a two-year-old, is prepared by Anthony and Sam Freedman and not surprisingly it was a happy Anthony post-race addressing the media.

“He came home and he wasn’t doing that great. Just the last three or four weeks we’ve been really happy with him, he turned up in great order here today.”

“We changed a few things and we’ve also learned now you’ve just got to do that with him pre-race, get him active because he just sort of falls asleep. Zac did that very well today, he was just that two or three lengths closer.”

“I think obviously a world class jockey,” Freedman said of the Purton booking. “I didn’t give him too many instructions.”

“Most of the instructions were pre-race, keep him moving, keep him active. Don’t just do what you normally do – sit around and walk around in circles and he falls asleep, and he did that really well. The start is everything to this horse, if he starts you can win.”

Freedman said the Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes was a likely next start for the crack stallion who is raced by a powerful syndicate of owners led by Newgate Farm and China Horse Club.

“I guess that’s where we go,” Freedman noted. “But I’ll talk to the team and see what they’re thinking.”

The win was the first of a Gr1 winning double for champion Hong Kong based rider Zac Purton.

“It felt good,” Purton noted. “I just had to wait a little bit for the right opportunity and Nash (Rawiller on Golden Mile) held up behind James (McDonald on Imperatriz) and I was hoping to get going a little bit earlier.”

“But when he come out it allowed me to go inside him and get on the back of the favourite. The last 150m he launched, he just jumped out of the ground.”

“He’s just a bit tricky, he comes with a little bit of baggage but he’s obviously very talented,” Purton added.

A son of former crack two and three-year-old Flying Artie, Artorius was an A$120,000 purchase for Freedman Racing and Julian Blaxland’s Blue Sky Bloodstock from the draft of Vinery Stud at the 2020 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

He is one of four stakes winners for his sire – another is last week’s Gr1 Oakleigh Plate placegetter Asfoora.

The Greg Perry bred Artorius is from Gracie’s Lass, an unraced Redoute’s Choice half sister to Gr1 Darley Classic winner Delectation – an A$1.6 million earner.

Gracie’s Lass is a daughter of the American stakes winning and Group One performed More Than Ready mare Grace and Power.

  • Winner: Artorius
  • Breeding: Flying Artie-Gracie’s Lass (Redoute’s Choice)
  • Breeder: Mr GJ Perry
  • Race: ATC Canterbury Stakes Gr1 (1300m)
  • Sold for: A$120,000
  • Sale: 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
  • Vendor: Vinery Stud (As Agent)
  • Buyer: Freedman Racing/Blue Sky Bloodstock
  • Earnings: A$2,331,462
  • Owner(s): Newgate Bloodstock, Newgate SF, Horse Ventures, China Horse Club Racing, Go Bloodstock, Peake Racing, Artorius 2, CBC Racing, Artorius 1, FOS Enterprises, M Davidson, Greenwich Stud, M Pearson, Hold Your Horses, Aston Bloodstock, Carpe Diem, GW Holdings, J Unwala, Lustre Lodge, Artorius & M Wanzare
  • Trainer(s): Anthony & Sam Freedman (Mornington)

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