Premiership winning jockey Craig Williams is keen to test out German import Articus in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Williams will be having his first ride on the Darren Weir trained Articus and is hoping his experience of riding European horses will give him some advantage when he teams up with the six year old.
“Articus being a European horse gives me a really good head start, as I’m using to riding over in Europe, and Japanese horses,” Williams told racing.com.
“So it gives me a good opportunity and a good understanding before I ride them.
“Luckily Darren Weir’s stable has given me a ride in the Dato’.
“Looking forward to it – he’s starting off his preparation.”
Articus is stepping up to 1600m second up after finishing a first up fifth in a 1500m Handicap at The Valley on August 26 and a win in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes will make him exempt from the ballot for the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.
As well as nominating Articus for the Cox Plate, Weir has also entered him in the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on September 30 and in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21.
At his first run in Australia Articus finished thirteenth in the 2016 Caulfield Cup for leading German trainer Andreas Wohler and since being transferred to Weir has won once from four starts in a 1800m Flemington Handicap in May this year.
Articus has drawn nicely at barrier two in the eleven horse Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes field and is listed as a $12 chance at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Lindsay Park trained He’s Our Rokkii as the $3.50 favourite.
Articus’ stablemate Star Exhibit is on the second line of betting at $5.50 ahead of the two Kiwi mares Lizzie L’Amour at $7 and Bonneval at $8.
He’s Our Rokkii has drawn the rails with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle and will have benefitted from his first up fourth to Hartnell in the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 19.