No frontier is too distant or unreachable for Dubai’s ambitious Team Godolphin who on Saturday chase a pair of premier victories on opposite sides of the globe — Australia and America.
The all-conquering stable, who only last week revealed the global scope of their operation, with success in Japan and Europe, are responsible for leading chances in races on both hemispheres.
Three-time Group 1 scorer Anamoe, who has stamped himself as one of the best colts in Australia, takes on some classy rivals in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) over 2,000m at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
A smart winner of the G1 Sires’ Produce Stakes, G1 Caulfield Guineas, and, G1 Rosehill Guineas, Anamoe bids to build on that success by sweeping all before him in what is being dubbed as “race of the autumn carnival.”
However, the homebred son of Street Boss confronts his toughest assignment to date when he comes up against eight of Australia’s weight-for-age rivals.
Tommy Berry takes the ride on Anamoe, having partnered the colt to his G2 Hobartville Stakes win at Rosehill three starts ago, while champion jockey James McDonald remains faithful to his Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant,
However, Godolphin handler James Cummings issued a cautious warning: “Don’t underestimate the importance of the jockeys’ tactical battles and the nous they are going to need.
“It goes without saying that tactics will be instrumental. We’ve seen that in many Queen Elizabeths. Speaking to Tommy yesterday, I know he’s got a fair bit of confidence in him. The deeper into his preparation he’s got the more focused and professional he’s become. That’s what you want to see in a horse,” he said on the Godolphin website.
Anamoe will also bid to become the first three-year-old to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes against the older horses since Intergaze pulled off the feat 25 years ago.
“I don’t want to put pressure on the horse but I have to say that I was even more pleased (after trackwork) than leading into the (G1) Cox Plate,” Cummings said.
“We know history is against the horse and we’re well aware of the effort that is going to be required to beat them.
“That’s the reason we chose the (G1) Queen Elizabeth. We want to challenge the horse and prove not only is he the best of his age but the best in the country.”
Cummings is amassing a strong team for the Sydney Autumn highlight including Honeycreeper (G1 Australian Oaks, 2,400m), Colette (G1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, 1,600m), Emanate (G2 Sapphire Stakes, 1,200m), Paulele and Bacchanalia (G2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint, 1,200m), Ojai, Magic Carpet and Kin (G2 Percy Sykes Stakes, 1,200m) and Zethus (Listed South Pacific Classic, 1,400m).
Meanwhile, inaugural Dubai World Cup-winning handler Bill Mott saddles Godolphin’s Speaker’s Corner in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aquaduct Racecourse, in New York City.
Last year, Godolphin’s son of Street Sense did not handle his stakes race debut in a field that included the likes of Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon, second and fifth in last month’s Dubai World Cup (G1) at Meydan Racecourse.
However, he has won his last two starts at Gulfstream Park including the Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (G2), and is primed for success at the premier level.
“I want to give him an opportunity in Grade 1 company and we seem to have a little rhythm going with him now,” Mott told Bloodhorse. “He broke his maiden and won an allowance race at seven furlongs, so we’ll see how it goes.”
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