Slipper prep "ideal" for Artorius

08 March 2021 01:59:49 GMTPlus10

Blue Diamond Stakes winner Artorius heads to Sydney to continue his preparation towards the Golden Slipper on March 20th, with trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman reporting him to be in great nick ahead of the $3.5m contest at Rosehill.

Artorius, who has not raced since his three-quarter-length Blue Diamond win, will trial at Randwick on Thursday in preparation for the Slipper.

Sam Freedman said Artorius had a gallop at Flemington on Saturday morning, working the reverse way, and the stable were delighted with what they saw.

"It was a really good piece of work," Freedman said. "He's set to go up to Sydney on Monday night, trial at Randwick on Thursday which then gives him nine days into the Slipper. It should be ideal."

Connections still need to pay a $150,000 late entry fee if Artorius is to become the first horse since Sepoy in 2011 to complete the Group 1 Blue Diamond-Golden Slipper double. He is currently rated a 13/2 chance.

Meanwhile, Capitalist colt Kalashnikov became the latest horse to throw his hat into the Golden Slipper ring after he battled to a hard-fought victory in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes at Canberra on Sunday.

Trained by Paul and Peter Snowden, Kalashnikov followed up an impressive maiden win at Gosford last month with a head success over Solar Winds, and he is now priced at 25/1 for the Slipper.

"As long as he comes through it well, there is no reason not to line up (in the Golden Slipper)," said Kalashnikov's co-trainer Paul Snowen. "He deserves a spot now."

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