Craig Williams has jumped aboard Divine Mr Artie at Flemington on Saturday hoping the four year old can help his premiership aspirations with a win in the K A Morrison Handicap (1200m).
Williams will head to Flemington on Saturday equal with apprentice Beau Mertens on seventy-two wins for the 2016 – 2017 racing season with only three race meetings left to secure the jockey’s premiership.
Divine Mr Artie was able to provide Williams with a much needed victory to secure last season’s Melbourne jockey’s Premiership with a win on the last day of the 2015 – 2016 racing season, taking him to seventy wins, four ahead of his nearest rival Dwayne Dunn.
“Divine Mr Artie actually got me a winner in the run for the championship last year,” Williams told racing.com.
“I did a bit of work with him and I’ve got a lot of time for the horse … I’ve been successful on him down the straight before.
“Brendan McCarthy says the horse is a lot more seasoned and more mature, and that he’s filled out and is a lot stronger.
“He’s in a nice competitive race but he’s right up to that mark.”
Trainer Brendan McCarthy was slightly disappointed with Divine Mr Artie’s first up effort when fifth with apprentice Brandon Stockdale in the saddle in a 1200m BenchMark 84 Handicap at Caulfield on July, but is expecting him to do better on Saturday.
“He was definitely capable of better,” McCarthy told AAP.
“And I thought he was going well enough to run better.
“He didn’t have a lot of luck in that he was caught a bit wide and he had to go back, but he still didn’t finish off like I know he can.
“It probably wasn’t a disappointing run but it was more that he didn’t do what I thought he was capable of, so that was the disappointing side of it.”
“Looking at him now, he’s going into this even better than he went into his first-up run.”
Williams and Divine Me Artie combined for a win down the Flemington straight last December and McCarthy is hoping that the pair can team up for another win in the 1200m straight course.
“I reckon a couple of his best runs have been at Flemington down the straight,” McCarthy said.
“He was very unlucky in a race on Melbourne Cup day early in his career (in 2015) and probably his best win so far was when he won first-up down the straight last preparation.”
Divine Mr Artie is well in contention in the betting for the K A Morrison Handicap at $4.80 alongside of Ruettiger at Ladbrokes.com.au just behind the $4.20 favourite Moss ‘N’ Dale.