Matt Smith continues to make a habit of winning races with imported horses, a trend he is keen to build on with latest arrival Artarmon.
The Sydney trainer has had a superb spring with two Group One victories in Melbourne courtesy of the Japanese-bred Fierce Impact.
It followed a prosperous winter with former French horse Grey Lion who will bid to recapture winning form in Saturday’s Group Three Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2500m) at Flemington.
Smith says Fierce Impact’s victories have been hugely satisfying after a run of bad luck in major races.
“It’s good for everyone. Your stable, your staff, your owners, everybody, to see those horses winning the big races because that’s what everybody wants,” Smith said.
“Getting your hands on the right horses is obviously the hardest part, and then everything has to go right.”
Artarmon is the latest cab off the international rank and Smith has been taken by his presence from the moment he saw him.
But he admits the horse will take him outside his comfort zone when he resumes over 2400 metres in the Iron Jack Handicap at Rosehill.
“I haven’t produced many first up over 2400 metres,” Smith said.
“I’d probably be a bit more comfortable over 2000 but he looks like a horse really looking for this distance.
“He hasn’t missed a beat going through to this race so I thought we will give him a run and this will tell us where he’s up to.
“We’ll know a bit more after the run and then we can make a plan from there.”
Artarmon has familiar bloodlines being a son of Australian star So You Think.
Bought by Terry Henderson’s OTI Racing, which also owns Grey Lion, Artarmon has won five of his 16 starts in England and heads to Saturday’s race with a good foundation of residual fitness.
Experience has taught Smith that Artarmon will continue to improve as he acclimatises.
“He is a beautiful individual, a quality horse,” Smith said.
“I had a good look through his form in Europe and he is a genuine stayer.
“He’s on his first Australian prep so he will get better and better as he’s here for longer.”