Anamoe has firmed into even money favouritism for the Golden Rose after making a stunning start to his spring, downing a high-quality field to claim The Run To The Rose at Kembla Grange.
The Godolphin colt suffered a well-documented setback in the lead-up to his return when he missed some work due to an elevated temperature, but trainer James Cummings said he had recovered remarkably well and the proof was in the pudding on Saturday.
Godolphin made the tough decision to spell him instead of pressing on to the Champagne Stakes and Cummings believes it has paid dividends.
“He’s a supreme athlete and the onus was on us to try to get him back to the races and be in the same sort of winning form that he left off,” Cummings said.
“We felt like we really rewarded him by putting him in the paddock on such a high.
“Champion two-year-olds like him need to come back and be going just as good when you want to go on with the goals that we’ve got.
“He has got his act together and luckily, we were able to give him a good grounding this time in work, so much so that even though we had that little setback, we were able to arrive here fit enough to be performing so strongly and reeling in a race-fit horse like In The Congo.”
The under-rated In The Congo ($10) led with Stay Inside camping at his girth but the Tulloch Lodge colt quickly beat off the Golden Slipper winner.
He gave a strong kick for Josh Parr before Anamoe ($3.50) emerged from the pack to run him down by a neck with the well-backed Remarque ($3 fav) another 1-1/4 lengths away.
Roughie Gleneagles ($26) hit the line solidly for fourth, while Stay Inside ($8.50) tired over the final stages to finish fifth.
Richard Freedman, co-trainer of Stay Inside, said the horse might be feeling the hard tracks.
“We’re a bit perplexed,” Freedman said.
“He had to spend a bit of fuel getting there and maybe he’s just looking for a soft track. It might have been a bit firm for him today.”
James Mcdonald brought up a treble aboard Anamoe following earlier wins on Accountability and Entriviere and expects Godolphin’s boom colt to go on with the job in the Golden Rose (1400m) in two weeks.
“He was the real deal as a two-year-old and I think it’s remarkable how he’s come back after one trial and a setback,” McDonald said.
“I was very mindful of getting through today. To come away with a win is a great testament to his ability.”