Divine Mr Artie impresses in first-up win

An impressive first-up win to Divine Mr Artie has provided a tonic for trainer Brendan McCarthy who broke his arm when kicked by a horse.

Jockey Craig Williams was impressed by the way the four-year-old gelding returned to racing in Saturday’s Plenary Group Handicap (1200m) and is convinced the Group Three Standish Handicap on New Year’s Day over the same course would be ideal for Divine Mr Artie.

McCarthy was not on track to see Divine Mr Artie sprint to a three-length win in his first start this season, with a stable representative explaining the trainer had undergone surgery on a broken arm sustained while loading a horse onto a float at his property on Friday.

“It’s a good tonic for him getting the win today, getting hurt last night,” stable representative Crystal Lethart said.

Divine Mr Artie was resuming for his first start since winning at Caulfield on the final weekend of last season as a three-year-old in July, and Williams maintained a perfect record on the four-year-old gelding from his two rides on the sprinter.

Well supported late from $5 to $4, Divine Mr Artie got cover back in the field in the straight track sprint before he chimed in on the outside and then surged clear in the final 200m to defeat Armada ($10), with another three-quarters of a length to Chiavari ($7) third.

“He ticked a lot of boxes coming into today’s race and it looks like a race like the Standish, now that he’s hopefully got his rating up enough to get him into the race, should be right up his alley the way he’s come back,” Williams said.

Williams begins a stint in Hong Kong on Sunday but is back in Melbourne for racing on December 31 at Moonee Valley and the Standish Handicap the next day.

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