Sam Freedman Claims First Group One

Artorius has powered home to upset his more fancied rivals in the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.

The Freedman stable was to the fore for the second time in three years in the Blue Diamond Stakes when Artorius stormed home to win.

As was the case in 2019 with Lyre, their Blue Diamond Stakes winner was partnered by Luke Currie and in a ride reminiscent of that victory, Artorius also came from well back to score.

The stable narrowly missed a three-peat, finishing second last year with Hanseatic.

However, there was a difference this time around as Anthony Freedman’s son Sam was an official co-trainer.

Artorius raced in the family colours, which Sam Freedman said made the win even more memorable.

He added it had been a huge team effort to prepare Artorius to win the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) as the horse had spent time at their two stable complexes at Pinecliff and Flemington.

“It’s a great feeling but there’s so many people behind this horse,” Sam Freedman said.

“Rebecca Smith at Pinecliff, Steve Adams, Brad Taylor, Leanne Fielding, all our riders at Flemington.”

Artorius had an unorthodox preparation for Saturday’s race as he had his lead-up run in January when he was successful over 1300 metres at Sandown.

The Freedmans’ debated whether to start him in the Blue Diamond as they wondered whether the 1200 metre journey was too short, eventually opting to target the race due to a lack of suitable alternatives.

Freedman said the addition of blinkers for the first time was the key to Artorius’ victory.

The stable discussed the gear change with ratings expert Daniel O’Sullivan and decided the only way the youngster could win was to wear them.

Artorius is by Flying Artie, Australia’s leading first season stallion by winners, and he went one better than his sire, who finished second to Extreme Choice in the 2016 Blue Diamond Stakes.

Freedman praised his father for selecting Artorius as a yearling, paying $120,000 for him at last year’s Magic Millions sale.

“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,” Freedman said.

“1200 metres is probably short of his best distance. We’ll probably be targeting a Guineas in the spring.”

Last year Luke Currie was forced to miss the Blue Diamond ride on Hanseatic after injuring himself in a race fall at Moonee Valley the night before.

He was thrilled to be back in the fold at Caulfield on Saturday and said Artorius’ finishing sprint was amazing.

Artorius ($13) defeated two of Godolphin’s runners, Ingratiating ($8.50), who was three-quarters of a length away second and Anamoe ($6), who was another 1-3/4 lengths further back.

The $2.40 favourite Enthaar jumped well and led until early in the straight before tiring to finish sixth.

Her jockey Mark Zahra said it was a good run but she was too brilliant in the early stages and it brought her undone.

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