G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Artorius (Flying Artie) has become the latest 2-year-old colt to be snapped up as a stallion prospect by Newgate, which completes its set of sons of its first-season stallions, Flying Artie, Capitalist and Extreme Choice.
Newgate had already secured an interest in G1 Golden Slipper S. favourite and R. Listed Inglis Millennium winner Profiteer (Capitalist) in a deal with Roll The Dice Racing before purchasing into leading Slipper fancy and son of Extreme Choice, Stay Inside, earlier this week.
A deal brokered between Newgate Managing Director Henry Field and the current ownership of Artorius, represented by Julian Blaxland of Blue Sky Bloodstock, was signed on Friday, confirming Newgate's involvement in the Sam and Anthony Freedman-trained colt going forward into next month's G1 Golden Slipper S.
"I think this horse could be an absolute monster of racehorse. He's by the leading first-season sire in Australia by winners and he's got a huge pedigree, being out of a Redoute's Choice mare, from a strong family that Greg Perry imported into Australia. He's just a beautiful individual, so we feel very confident about him," Field told TDN AusNZ.
"He's won a Blue Diamond, which is one of the key stallion-making races, and he did it in a dominant fashion. We’ve bought a majority interest and will race the horse for the remainder of his career in conjunction with the current ownership group."
Field said it was Artorius' dominant victory in a Sandown maiden in January which put him on Newgate's radar as a possible acquisition target.
"When he annihilated a pretty good group of 2-year-olds by 4.5l to break his maiden, he looked a horse that was definitely well above average.
"Then in the Blue Diamond, I have a lot of time for the two Godolphin colts that he beat (Ingratiating and Anamoe). The explosive nature of his victory suggested he was a horse that was the real deal," he said.
"He's also a horse that every indicator should train on to be a really significant 3-year-old."
Blaxland agreed that the scope for Artorius to show further improvement, was clear to his existing connections.
"He has such a turn of foot this horse and that's why we have seen him rate so highly with all the experts in the past couple of days," he said.
"Sam and Anthony think the best of this horse is ahead of him. He's not a limited 2-year-old 1000 metre horse, there is so much upside. They feel this horse will get out to a mile at three and he's got a big action.
"The finish on him, you don’t see 2-year-olds finish like that. His two wins, he's finished like Chautauqua, I'm very excited for the owners and Newgate heading to Sydney and then to see what he might do in the spring next year."
An outstanding colt
Field inspected Artorius this week and was very much impressed by what he saw in the colt, who has taken massive improvement since he was sold for $120,000 when offered by Vinery Stud at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
"He knocked my socks off when I inspected him through the week at Pinecliff. He's a really attractive horse of great quality," he said. "He's got a deep pedigree, really good genetics and is very compatible with a big cross section of mares."
Blaxland recalls a yearling colt that would need time to develop, but who has not taken a backward step since he and Freedman Racing secured him after he initially passed in.
"To be honest, he probably looked at that stage six months' away from being the finished article. That's probably why he was initially passed in. We went back through his notes after he was passed in and thought he was worth another look," he said.
"I think there may have been a set on Flying Artie, which was probably a bit unfair. To Anthony Freedman's credit, he said 'I think it's unfair, these horses haven't even run yet and he was a fabulous racehorse, Flying Artie'."
It was at the breakers where the reports started to indicate this was a colt of considerable talent.
"We didn't leave the Sale thinking we had bought the Blue Diamond winner, but we were comfortable we had bought a lovely horse. He is very well-bred, being out of a Redoute's Choice sister to Delectation, so it’s a fine pedigree," Blaxland said.
"When Greg Bennett broke him in after he spelled at my farm at Newington, he was glowing on the colt early on. He said he had a great action and a really good attitude. We probably had a bit of an idea then."
The deal completes an extraordinary month of February for Newgate, which has now built its next generation of stallions from the first crops of a trio of colts that it took a leap of faith with in 2015.
"Five years ago, we bought the three absolute standout 2-year-old colts. Capitalist won the Slipper, Extreme Choice the Blue Diamond and Flying Artie placed in both. We feel we have done the same this year and it's extraordinary that those three this year, Artorius, Stay Inside and Profiteer, are by the three colts we have on our roster," Field said.