Artorius returns a winner in Canterbury Stakes

Artorius flashed home to claim the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes.

It’s taken a superb ride from leading Hong Kong hoop Zac Purton, but Artorius is a winner again for the first time since the 2021 Blue Diamond Stakes, having claimed the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes.

It was a weaving effort between horses from Artorius to nail the well fancied New Zealand raider, Imperatriz, who drifted slightly before the race.

The amazing training performance by Anthony & Sam Freedman can’t be overstated, who elected to take the four-year-old overseas for a world tour of sorts lining up in Group 1 features such as the Platinum Jubilee Stakes and July Cup finishing third respectively in both events.

His return on Saturday after a 209-day spell was just his third career win, but second at Group 1 level as Zac Purton unlocked the best of this son of Flying Artie.

Favourite backers would’ve felt like they were on the winner with 200m to go and was brave to the line, but simply no match for the winner. Electric Girl was as honest as ever and Golden Mile looks to have taken improvement from the first-up run.

2023 Group 1 Canterbury Stakes Replay – Artorius

Artorius was too good over the 1300m though and now the team look forward for bigger targets in the Autumn.

Anthony Freedman spoke post-race about the overseas trip and what it may have taken out of his colt. He also spoke to the quality of jockey booking they were able to acquire with Zac Purton.

“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,” said Anthony Freedman.

“I think obviously a world class jockey, 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.”

Zac Purton was very happy with the win on return to Australia and was surprised by the electric turn of speed Artorius was able to produce.

“It felt good. 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,” said Zac Purton

“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.”

Next on the agenda for Artorius could be the TJ Smith Stakes where online bookmakers have him a $15 chance.

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