Anamoe and Ingratiating hold strong G1 claims at Moonee Valley

Australia’s top 3YO colt Anamoe is set to put Godolphin under the G1 spotlight when he runs in the country’s most prestigious race, the $5 million, G1 WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday, 23 October.

And on a weekend of elite racing in Melbourne that begins at the same track on Friday night, Anamoe’s stablemate Ingratiating gets his chance for redemption in  the $1 million G1 Manikato Stakes.  

Anamoe is bidding to become Godolphin’s first Cox Plate winner and the first three-year-old since Red Anchor back in 1984 to complete the G1 Caulfield Guineas-G1 Cox Plate double.

The leading juvenile of his generation, Anamoe confirmed he had carried the form into his classic year when he defied his wide gate to score an emphatic, last-start win in the G1 Caulfield Guineas at 1,600m

The colt has another 440m to run against older horses in the Cox Plate, but trainer James Cummings has full confidence in the colt.

“Now that he’s had three very convincing runs as a spring three-year-old after a galvanising two-year-old campaign, he looks ready to step up against the older horses in a Cox Plate,” Cummings said.

“There’s no race harder for him to be more ready for than this race. We’ve got him very fit and very well prepared, and in a position to do his absolute best.”

Cummings also sounded an ominous warning to Anamoe’s rivals.

“One of the things I like about Anamoe is it’s possible we haven’t seen his best run this preparation,” he said.

Williams takes over on Anamoe from Guineas-winning rider Damien Oliver who is unable to make the 49.5kg the colt will carry under the WFA scale.

Ingratiating, who finished just in advance of Anamoe as a 2YO in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes, represents Godolphin in a Manikato Stakes that offers the chance to make amends for an uncharacteristic, last-start performance in the G2 Danehill Stakes (1,100m) at Flemington three weeks ago.

Cummings said the colt had worked well in Melbourne since and was primed for a strong showing.

“We put him in a holding pattern. I was pleased with what I’ve seen and providing we had confidence there was nothing amiss with him,” Cummings said.

“Ingratiating came down and caught everybody’s attention with a beautiful piece of work and it just struck us how obvious it was that he should be the one running in the Manikato.

“It’s the reason we think the horse can turn around his below-par performance in the Danehill and put himself back in the game to achieve a G1 performance at the spring carnival.”

Craig Williams takes the Manikato ride and with 53kg from barrier seven Ingratiating can atone.

The Godolphin Stakes-race contingent at Moonee is completed by Vianello and Heresy (G2 Fillies Classic, 1,600m), Best Of Days (G2 Crystal Mile, 1,600m), Athelric (G3 Red Anchor Stakes, 1,600m) and Larkspur Run (Listed Crockett Stakes, 1,200m) with Cummings upbeat about all their chances.