Artistic Star to test Leger claims at Goodwood

Artistic Star will head to the John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes at Goodwood next as connections keep half an eye on the St Leger later in the season.

Ralph Beckett’s charge made an impressive debut at Nottingham at the back-end of last year and doubled his tally to remain unbeaten when returning in a hot Sandown novice event in May.

That victory earned the son of Galileo a crack at the Derby where he ran with credit in seventh behind Auguste Rodin and he followed that Epsom outing with another respectable display at Royal Ascot when third to King Of Steel in the King Edward VII Stakes.

Having made three appearances in a fairly short space of time, connections made the decision to bypass the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket’s July meeting and Artistic Star will next be seen in Group Three action during the Qatar Goodwood Festival on August 3.

“He’s training very well. We were tempted to run at Newmarket, but we decided not to and we’re going to keep him for the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood,” said David Bowe, racing manager for owner Jeff Smith.

“We’re very happy with the way he’s training and as we’ve been quoted as saying before, he has a late birth date and he has had a few quick runs together, and I think he has benefitted a little bit from a longer time between races now.

“It will hopefully do him the world of good. He’s a very nice horse and well bred and we’re in it to race and have fun, but equally the horse deserves the chance to be the horse we think he could be so we will just give him a little bit of time.”

A strong showing on the Sussex Downs, a place where owner Jeff Smith has enjoyed some memorable days, could lead to a shot at the final Classic of the season at Doncaster on September 16, with Bowe indicating the team think Town Moor could be the ideal spot for Artistic Star.

He added: “That’s exactly what we think he should be (a Leger horse). He has that sort of profile and trip-wise it looks to be ideal, so who knows. We’re definitely keeping our eye on that option for sure.”

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