Mark Zahra returns to scale on Artorius (Image: Racing Photos)

Mark Zahra returns to scale on Artorius (Image: Racing Photos)

Freedman hopes for hot Diamond

Flemington trainer Sam Freedman says he will be hoping for a hot tempo in Saturday’s Blue Diamond as the stable looks to secure the Group 1 with talented colt Artorius.

The son of Flying Artie put himself into Blue Diamond contention with a dominant win at Sandown last start, but Freedman, who trains in partnership with his dad Anthony, admitted they mulled over the decision to head to Saturday’s Group 1.

Artorius was a $14 chance for the Blue Diamond before Tuesday’s barrier draw.

“He’s really well. We mulled it over for a while as to whether we go to the Blue Diamond or not,” Freedman said.

“Ultimately we felt that in any case it is the right race to go to and it is a stepping stone potentially to some races in Sydney or even the Sires Produce in Melbourne (at Flemington).

“He’s an exciting horse, we’ve put the blinkers on him, he worked in the blinkers this morning in company. It certainly woke him up a bit, he was a bit more willing and keen.

“He’s a very laid back horse typically. We’ve been thinking the blinkers were going to be required for some time, even probably prior to his last run.

“Luke Currie rode him this morning and was very happy with him. He’s heading there in really good order.”

When asked what Artorius needed to happen to win the race, Freedman said: “Maybe a little bit of speed on.

“We need a testing six furlongs and we probably need them to be out on their feet late.

“He will be the one closing off if they over do it in front. I would think he would be the strongest over 1200m of all the horses in the field, probably along with Anamoe.”