Trainer Brendan McCarthy has revealed that he could not be more pleased with the condition of Divine Mr Artie ahead of the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
Divine Mr Artie returned to racing to post a dominant three length win in the Plenary Group BM84 (1200m) on December 10th, before finishing a credible fifth in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) last time out, where conditions did not suit the horse.
McCarthy told Racing Ahead that the Artie Schiller gelding has taken great benefit from his two starts this time in and he believes that he will take plenty of beating in the Chester Manifold Stakes 2017.
“He’s done exceptionally well,” McCarthy said.
“After the run at Flemington last start he bounced back straight after the run and I think the run has brought him on quite a bit.
“It was a second-up run, he was badly weighted in the race and I’m just very happy with him now, he gets into this race a lot better.
“He’s definitely going to be better over the 1400m and we think he’ll stretch out more to the 1600m. It’s going up in class a little bit, probably not from last start, but we do think he’ll be able to take the next step and get into better races.”
McCarthy is yet to settle on the major campaign target for Divine Mr Artie this time in, but confirmed that he will progress to an appearance in the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Australia Day, following his third-up start on Saturday.
“We’ll probably go to the John Dillon after this which is another Listed race at Caulfield in a few weeks and then just depending on what he does there, if we go and tackle the Group 1 Orr Stakes or go to a mile,” he said.
Divine Mr Artie debuted to racing during the autumn of 2015 and has subsequently posted a commendable four wins and six minors, through a total of seventeen starts.
Divine Mr Artie is currently available at $4 Chester Manifold Stakes odds with online bookie Ladbrokes Australia.