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Divine Mr Artie to resume at Flemington

Divine Mr Artie has yet to be tested in stakes company but that is something trainer Brendan McCarthy has in his sights this preparation.

The gelding was a model of consistency during his three-year-old season, racing 13 times for three wins and six placings.

He is set to have his first run as a four-year-old in a 1200m-benchmark 84 race on Saturday at Flemington and McCarthy believes he can get to stakes level.

“I’m hoping that he will get through to a couple of nice races during the autumn,” McCarthy said.

“We’ll probably get him up over a mile this time.

“I definitely think he’s up to better class races, black type races. We’ll probably be looking up to a Group Three race or something this time around.”

Divine Mr Artie’s most recent preparation spanned eight starts for two wins including victory at his most recent appearance at Caulfield on the last weekend of the 2015/16 season in July.

“He had quite a few starts last time in but he still held up right through the preparation,” McCarthy said.

“I think we should still get some improvement out of him from last prep to this prep.”

Divine Mr Artie has only had one jump-out at Caulfield instead of a planned two but McCarthy said he had done enough to perform well on Saturday.

“They had the trials on the Polytrack one day and I didn’t want to trial him there so we ran out of time to have the two jump-outs,” he said.

“But he’s done plenty of groundwork and I’m pretty happy with his fitness. So I think he’s ready to put in a nice run.”

Craig Williams will ride Divine Mr Artie and McCarthy believes the straight course at Flemington suits.

“He had a start there on Melbourne Cup day last year and I thought he was very unlucky not to win that day,” he said.

McCarthy has four-year-old Petite’s Reward nominated for a 1000m race at Flemington but the mare is instead likely to run over 955m on Friday night at Moonee Valley.

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