Aussie raiders eyeing off Ascot's Platinum Jubilee

23 June 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Australia couldn’t land a blow in the King’s Stand, but how will Artorius and his other Australian counterparts fare in this year’s Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Stakes?

Artorius, who is trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman, will be one of three Australians in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes with the market leader starting from barrier eight in the field of sixteen.

The Leon and Troy Corstens-trained The Astrologist has drawn barrier six, while Peter and Paul Snowden's Capitalist colt Cannonball, who is backing up after his last placing in Tuesday's King's Stand Stakes, will start from four.

The Royal Ascot course is familiar territory to Artorius who dead-heated for third in the race last year with Jamie Spencer in the saddle.

Longines World’s Best Jockey James Mcdonald has been booked for Saturday's race, which will be his first race ride aboard the four-year-old after only partnering him in a jumpout at Flemington ahead of his Royal Ascot campaign.

This will be Artorius’ final racing campaign before retiring to stud at Newgate Farm in the Hunter Valley. Founder of Newgate Farm, Henry Field was looking forward to the race.

"James McDonald is riding him and he's very, very bullish on his prospects. The Freedmans feel that he's absolutely humming and he's a seriously proper horse," Mr Field said.

The race has been won by some of Australia’s best sprinters including Black Caviar, Merchant Navy, Starspangledbanner and Choisir, who is one of just three horses to complete the King's Stand/Jubilee double in the same year.

For an Australian comparison, the following table shows where our raiders were rated and what they ran winning England's most prestigious sprint. Note that Merchant Navy and Starspangledbanner were technically trained by Aidan O'Brien when they ran in the UK, but we're claiming them.



Peak Aus Rating

Jubilee Rating


Merchant Navy




Black Caviar











Artorius fits in just below most of these with a rating of 122 by Timeform at his peak which came in the Group 1 July Cup (1207m) at Newmarket last year. Merchant Navy had promised to be better than his 120 and confirmed that before the Diamond Jubilee, winning the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes (1207m) and running to 126.

His highest Australian-rated run was in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) with 121+ and a narrow fourth to Anamoe in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), rated 118.

Let’s have a look at some of the rivals.

The Astrologist has gone globe-trotting of late, running in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) in Dubai and finishing a very game second but only running to 115. He's had two preparation runs at York and Haydock, well beaten in the former but solid in the latter, running to 114 when second in a Group 3.

His peak is 117, which he's run three times, twice over the Flemington 1200m behind two-time Group 1 winning mare Roch 'N' Horse. He might stick on for a top four finish if he runs to his best.

Highfield Princess, the intention appears to be for her to back up following Tuesday's near win. She beat Artorius home at Deauville when she won the Group 1 Prix De Gheest  with Artorius finishing in 6th place.

Whilst she was rolled on Tuesday, she has performances over 1000-1300m that go very close in this, with her past two efforts at six furlongs returning ratings of 120, which under weight-for-age given her four pound allowance, would see her rate higher than Artorius at his best.

The other interesting runner is Hong Kong galloper Wellington. Once their headline sprinter, he's taken a back seat to superstar Lucky Sweynesse, battling for the minors in the major Hong Kong sprints in the past six months.

Still, he did run to 122 winning the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) in December and a peak of 124 would go awfully close to winning this. Since December however, he hasn't managed to crack 120, and his past three ratings average at 114.67. Combine that with perhaps unfavourable softer ground than he'd like.

Outside of the raiders, it's a bit of a lottery but one that might be the biggest danger is Kinross. He's more of a sprinter/miler having last been seen running third to Modern Games in the Group 1 Breeders' Cup Mile, notching up his fifth rating of 120 or above.

Prior to that he won his first six-furlong race, taking out the Group 1 British Champions Sprint Stakes (1207m), notably at Ascot, and running to 124 in a comprehensive win, with last year's Jubilee second placegetter Creative Force well back in third.

That form is easily good enough to be winning this considering it's 2 pounds higher than Artorius has managed, and he, along with Highfield Princess, make most appeal at 7-1 apiece.

The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes will be run at 1:20am Sunday, Australian time.