Racing.com’s Ben Sporle reported:
Artorius is heading to Royal Ascot in better shape than 12 months ago according to Sam Freedman after a jumpout at Mornington on Wednesday morning.
Ben Allen partnered the Platinum Jubilee-bound stallion over 900 metres on the course proper, finishing third under light riding.
“He pinged the gates and was interested the whole way,” said Freedman, who trains in partnership with his father Anthony.
“He didn’t have his visors on, but he closed the trial off really well, the track was pretty rain-affected but he seemed to get through it well, so he is right on track.
“His trial this morning I think was a lot better than he probably was going last year.
“He is definitely a better horse than he was 12 months ago and I think his results show that.
“He seems to have really grown up, he is racing a lot more professionally.”
Artorius and other Royal Ascot contenders will jump out at Flemington on May 29 before departing 10 days later.
Appointed jockey James McDonald will ride him in the jumpout as well as at Ascot down the famous straight eight days prior.
Freedman said the routine which saw Artorius dead-heat for third last year in the Platinum Jubilee will remain much the same, with the horse to be stabled at Charlie Fellowes’ yard.
“This year he is off a true weight-for-age weight, last year he was weighted as four-year-old and he was really a three-year-old, so this year he is better off at the weights and he seems to be going better,” Freedman said.
“Not that I have a great hand on the horses over there, but by all reports it’s probably not as strong a year as it has been in the past.
“He seems to be making a little bit of his own luck at this stage of his career, he seems to be sitting a bit closer and making this a bit easier.
“This time around if we are three or four lengths better in the run than we were 12 months ago, then we are going to be in the frame.”
Freedman said they will again be requesting the horse be loaded into the barriers late to help him jump better, something that can’t be done in Australia.
Artorius is currently a $9 chance with Sportsbet, with fellow Aussie The Astrologist $11 for the June 25 contest.