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Image: Bruno Cannatelli

James Cummings concedes Anamoe could be vulnerable first-up over a sprint trip in the Expressway Stakes.

Anamoe has proven himself to be an exceptional colt but his versatility will be put to the test when he launches his latest carnival campaign at Rosehill.

While the Godolphin star performed admirably over sprint journeys as a juvenile and defeated subsequent Golden Rose winner In The Congo first-up over 1200m in the spring, he blossomed once stepped up to a mile and beyond.

He was superb winning the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) before a narrow and controversial second to State Of Rest in the Cox Plate (2040m) when jockey Craig Williams lodged an unsuccessful protest against the winner for interference.

James Cummings has settled on Saturday’s Group 2 Expressway Stakes for Anamoe’s return and while conceding 1200 metres is not his optimal distance, Cummings is banking on the colt’s class to carry him through.

“Being realistic, he beat a three-year-old by about a head first-up last preparation and now he’s running at weight-for-age first-up at Rosehill with the rail out and perhaps with a bit to do despite being a small field,” Cummings said.

“He’s got lots of challenges against him and could be very vulnerable first-up.

“But I think he’s going to run very well and he’s going to get his preparation underway in good style.”

Bookmakers are taking no risks with Anamoe, who dominates betting as a $1.70 favourite in his bid to become the third three-year-old in the past five years to upstage the older horses.

Trapeze Artist (2018) and Standout (2020) claimed the Expressway at three, although both horses were sprinters.

Anamoe’s short-term goal will be the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 5 and beyond that, Cummings is keeping plans fluid.

“We’ve got a lot of options with him. At the moment, the forerunner of our targets would be the Randwick Guineas and we’ve got that race to target in March,” he said.

“From there, we can decide where we need to go with him.

“Importantly, we’re quite pleased with the way he has returned. He has matured again and he looks like the sort of horse we need him to be to be progressing into the autumn.”

 
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