Anamoe gets his chance to secure a second career Group 1 heading south to Caulfield this weekend for the Group 1 $2 million Neds Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
After a couple of close calls as a two-year-old at elite level running third in the Blue Diamond and second in the Golden Slipper, the James Cummings-trained Street Boss colt won the autumn’s Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Anamoe returned this spring winning the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) before going down as the odds-on favourite when runner-up to In The Congo last time out in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m).
This weekend he returns to Melbourne for the first time since his Blue Diamond second and presents fit third-up going up to a mile for the first time.
He suffered a blow drawing wide in barrier 15 with Damien Oliver coming aboard in place of James McDonald, but the money remains solid for Anamoe who is the current $2.50 favourite in Caulfield Guineas betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Incredibly despite drawing a capacity field of in-form three-year-olds just one of the other final acceptors is under $15 in the latest markets, the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Blue Diamond winner Artorious the $3.50 danger.
Drawn ideally in barrier two with Damian Lane coming aboard the son of Flying Artie, Artorious is fourth-up this prep and chasing his first success since the Group 1 back in February.
He has twice run behind Anamoe since defeating him in the Blue Diamond when sixth in the Golden Slipper and fourth last time out in the Golden Rose.
Returning to Melbourne however from the better barrier and he may just have the advantage with co-trainer Sam Freedman happy to make excuses for his luckless Golden Rose run.
“He was a long way back but the horse that he went to come outside ran off the track and exaggerated how wide he was,” Freedman told Newscorp this week.
“If he had have come through inside Anamoe, I have no doubt he would have run second.
“We’re pretty confident he’s probably a better talent than Anamoe but he’s just got that little bit of race-craft to iron out.”
One thing the stable will be pleased about is the full field ensuring a strongly run race to suit their talent.
“I think he’ll appreciate the mile, but he just needs some genuine tempo in the race for him to get home,” Freedman said.
“When they go slow, sometimes the best horse doesn’t win the race but if they roll along, all will get their chance.
“We’d love a full field and good speed on.”
Hawkes Racing won last year’s Caulfield Guineas with Ole Kirk (2021) and the stable return on Saturday with their untapped Snitzel colt Mr Mozart coming off a Group 2 Stutt Stakes second over the mile at Moonee Valley.
Helmet (2011) and Anacheeva (2010) are the last two horses to have completed the Caulfield Guineas Prelude – Caulfield Guineas double and trainer of the latter, Peter Moody, is back looking to do it again this weekend with Lightsaber in gate 11 with Luke Currie – who rode Artorious to victory in this year’s Blue Diamond – in the saddle.
Master Sydney-based horseman Chris Waller meanwhile has won the Caulfield Guineas on two occasions with Press Statement (2015) and The Autumn Sun (2018).
This year Waller saddles-up two chances with Giannis and Coastwatch, the latter having run a good third at big odds in the Golden Rose.
Coastwatch however has also been nominated for a potential Sydney run over further on the weekend in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Other notable Caulfield Guineas runners this year are proven miler Forgot You coming off the Stutt Stakes win on Moir Stakes night, the rails-drawn Tiger Of Malay for Richard & Michael Freedman and the autumn’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes winner over the distance Captivant looking to reclaim his better form.
The 2021 Caulfield Guineas is one of three Group 1 features running at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday along with the Toorak Handicap and Neds Might And Power Stakes.