Star 'Down Under' Colts Face 25 Rivals

Date: 18 Jun 2022

Star 'Down Under' Colts Face 25 Rivals



Ray Thomas of reports:


While the attention has been on Home Affairs in the Platinum Jubilee, Artorius has been the forgotten horse despite boasting a superior head-to-head record. 320w, 650w, 1024w" alt="Bookies have overlooked Artorius for the Platinum Jubilee. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images" width="1280" height="720" />

Bookies have overlooked Artorius for the Platinum Jubilee

Newgate supremo Henry Field is armed with a revealing statistic which suggests Artorius is the dark horse in his clash with Home Affairs in the Group 1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

“I think people need to keep in mind Artorius and Home Affairs have raced three times and Artorius has beaten him home twice,'' Field said.

“If Home Affairs is favourite for the race we have to be confident of Artorius being a definite chance.''

Field, who has every right to be upbeat after sharing in the ownership of Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes winner State Of Rest on Wednesday, also races Artorius in a syndicate of high profile owners.

Artorius has been widely overlooked in England in the build-up to Royal Ascot with the focus primarily on the Chris Waller-trained Home Affairs in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

In latest Platinum Jubilee betting with English bookies, Artorius is rated at 16/1 ($17) while Home Affairs is favourite at 2/1 ($3).

The feature sprint has attracted a monstrous field of 27 starters with Home Affairs drawn to come out of gate 17 while Artorius has barrier two on the far side of the straight course.

But as Field pointed out, Artorius has beaten Home Affairs to the line in the Golden Slipper and Newmarket Handicap.

Home Affairs is the favourite for the Platinum Jubilee. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Home Affairs is the favourite for the Platinum Jubilee

Home Affairs got his decision with a runaway Coolmore Stud Stakes win.

Sam Freedman, who trains Artorius in partnership with his father Anthony, isn't concerned his colt is flying under the radar going into the Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

In fact, Freedman's confidence soared after Artorius galloped impressively at Royal Ascot a week ago.

“Artorius came through that gallop well and has had an easy week going into Royal Ascot,'' Freedman said.

“We have just tried to keep ticking the boxes since and he is pretty fit now.

“It's was important to take him over to Ascot for that gallop last week just to help familiarise the horse with the walk up, crossing the road, going into the pre-parade ring and then the parade ring.

“He handled the track well and definitely the steep rise to the finish is to his liking. Hopefully, they will start coming back to him at the end of the race.''

Trainer Chris Waller elected not to back up with King's Stand Stakes winner Nature Strip and rely on Home Affairs to complete the Group 1 Royal Ascot sprint double.

“Home Affairs is very good and we have got a little bit of confidence from Nature Strip running so well earlier in the week,'' Waller said.

“They have had similar build-ups to Royal Ascot and similar formlines.''

Home Affairs is a dual Group 1 winner in Australia and owners Coolmore are banking on the crack colt enhancing his stallion resume by winning a northern hemisphere major at Royal Ascot.

Sam Freedman is confident Artorius will perform well in the Platinum Jubilee. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Sam Freedman is confident Artorius will perform well in the Platinum Jubilee

“This colt already has two ‘stallion-making' races next to his name in the Lightning Stakes and the Coolmore Stud Stakes,'' Waller said.

“He is an amazing athlete with an amazing temperament and he has all the right qualities to be a top stallion.

“Home Affairs doesn't need to prove himself in Australia but it would be a boost for his stud credentials if he can win in this part of the world.''

The Royal Ascot track surface has been firm all week which is advantageous for the Australian sprinters, particularly Home Affairs.

“He's a quick horse, he's a big boy and loves the firm ground,'' Waller said.

“By Australian standards that track is fantastic, very safe. Despite it being a dry, warm week they look after it each night with some water and there is a thick cover of grass.

“Home Affairs has the right form-lines and is a very exciting colt. He is there to do the best he can.''

If either Home Affairs or Artorius can win the Platinum Jubilee, it will be a rare Royal Ascot double for Australian-trained racehorses after Nature Strip's win last Tuesday.

Trainer Paul Perry holds that unique honour after preparing (the late) Choisir (main picture) to win the King's Stand Stakes and Golden Jubilee double in 2003.


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