The scratching of the Darren Weir trained Articus has made little impact on the betting for the Group 2 $358,000 Attwood Marshall A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Articus was rated a $14 chance for the weight for age feature when he was withdrawn, reducing the field to ten runners, but will now go around in the first race at Flemington on Saturday, the $100,000 Chairman’s Club Handicap (1800m).
The Godolphin owned Doncaster Mile winner It’s Somewhat still sits at the top of the market order for the A.D. Hollindale Stakes at $3.40 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of McCreery at $5 and Single Gaze at $5.50.
Luke Murrell, who is the Director of Australian Bloodstock who part owns Articus, said that they were keen to get the German import to Queensland for the weekend but after travel arrangements fell through have to settle for a Flemington run.
Murrell is still hopeful of getting Articus to Brisbane for the Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 20.
Murrell is certain the five year old stallion is up to Group 1 company even though he has been well beaten at his only two Australia starts for leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir.
At his first Australian start during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival Articus was sent out as one of the top fancies but never threatened to finish nine lengths from the winner Jameka in thirteenth position in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
A similar story followed at his next start when thirteenth again to Hooked in Group 3 $150,000 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on April 15.
“After the Caulfield Cup, we were just gutted,” Murrell said.
“We were really confident there, he had worked well, but he just didn’t get around Caulfield.
“That’s the only excuse we could find. Then first-up, he would have probably preferred a wetter track, but we were happy enough with the run.”
Murrell said that Weir was happy with Articus’ progress since his first up effort at Caulfield and is keen to pursue a Group 1 campaign in Queensland.
“I said if he had any concerns we were happy to go to Adelaide to win a race, and Darren said he didn’t want to dodge anything with this horse,” Murrell said.