Australian bred sprinter War Artist added a Group 3 victory to his scorecard in the Prix de Ris-Orangis at Maisons-Laffitte on Saturday. The Alain de Royer trained gelding ran out a comfortable half-length winner from stablemate Tiza (SAf) who had won the race in 2009.
War Artist (6g Orpen – Royal Solitaire by Brocco) took command at the furlong marker after which he was given four taps of the whip by Olivier Peslier before stretching out in the final stages.
Owner Rupert Plersch transferred War Artist to de Royer in April and the gelding was coming off a good effort in the Golden Jubilee Stakes when beaten less then four lengths by Starspangledbanner.
“War Artist is not yet at a peak and there is still room for improvement,” his trainer said. “He now goes for the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.”
War Artist was a $57,500 buy at the 2005 Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale. He was purchased by World Wide Bloodstock and developed into a star short-course horse in South Africa winning the G1 Mercury Sprint in 2007.
Sent to English based trainer James Eustace in 2008, he did well when second to Kingsgate Native in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot and third to Marchand D’Or in the July Cup at Newmarket.
He returned in 2009 for victories in the G2 Goldene Peitsche at Baden-Baden and the G3 Prix du Petit Couvert at Longchamp.
War Artist looked just as potent this term when a comprehensive winner of the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint at Meydan in February and the latest G3 success improved his record to 24: 9-4-3 for earnings the equivalent of AUD 915,930.
War Artist’s sire Orpen (Lure) shuttled to Coolmore for four season until 2003. His strike-rate was more than acceptable at 63% but only 3 of his 154 Australian winners scored at black-type level.
The South American market has proved a practical alternative for Coolmore and Orpen was re-routed to Haras Arroyo de Luna in Argentina for the 2004 southern season. He sired a G1 quinella in the 2000 Guineas in Buenos Aires last September.
War Artist’s dam Royal Solitaire is a winning half-sister Adelaide Listed winner Calming (Zeditave). She died in December 2007 shortly after foaling a Jet Spur colt. He wasn’t registered by owner-breeder Stephen Kirkham.