Godolphin trainer James Cummings can’t fault Anamoe ahead of the Group 1 $ 1m George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Anamoe won the Winx Stakes impressively a month ago and Cummings said his stable superstar has trained on “beautifully” for the race.
The Godolphin stable’s confidence would have soared even further late on Friday when Anamoe’s main rival Zaaki was withdrawn from the George Main Stakes.
In revised TAB fixed odds betting, Anamoe firmed into $ 1.60 favorite with Fangirl ($ 7) the only other runner under double figure odds.
“I’ve taken my time with him, he hasn’t run for a month, but he’s a wonderful, natural athlete who’ll appreciate the gap between his first and second-up runs, ” Cummings said.
“He enjoyed the seven (furlongs, 1400m) first-up so stepping to a mile is ideal.”
Cummings said retaining James McDonald as Anamoe’s rider is significant.
“James (McDonald) understands Anamoe very well and has the superior jockey ratings at the moment, ” Cummings said.
“It’s only fitting he’s on Anamoe – he’s won three Group 1 races on the horse, so let’s hope he can continue.
“Everything this preparation has gone beautifully, so this will be very instructive this weekend.”
James Cummings couldn’t be happier with Anamoe. Picture: Mark Evans-Getty Images
Trainer Annabel Neasham explained she will wait a week with Zaaki and run in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Sandown on Sunday week.
Neasham said her team felt Zaaki “will benefit from an extra week after a heavy track first-up” in his Tramway Stakes win.
By making the call to scratch Zaaki from the George Main, she now give her stable star a strong gallop on Saturday morning in preparation for next weekend.
But the maestro David Payne hasn’t ruled out another giant-killing performance by his outstanding mare Montefilia in the George Main Stakes.
Payne said $ 19 outsider Montefilia is ready to run well fresh.
“It all depends on the tempo, if they roll along fast enough then Montefilia will get her chance to run on, ” Payne said.
“If the race is run to suit, this mare is capable of running a big race but if it’s sit-sprint, then it will be hard to beat Anamoe … ”
David Payne says Montefilia can upset the favorites with the right tempo. Picture: Mark Evans-Getty Images
Montefilia finally kicks off her spring campaign after Payne withdrew the mare from the Chelmsford Stakes two weeks ago due to the extremely heavy track conditions.
“I’m glad I didn’t run her that day because the heavy track would have been against her and you just don’t know what it takes out of a horse, ” Payne said.
“But we have given her plenty of work at home and she is ready to go. By missing the Chelmsford, all it means is the mare will have four runs in spring rather than five – she will go to the Hill Stakes next then the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. ”
Payne is also confident the underrated Bazooka will be hard to beat in the Shoot Out Mile (1600m).
“I think Bazooka can win this race, he won’t know himself with that light weight (51.5kg), ” the trainer added.
Payne’s other Randwick runners, Mahagoni and Navajo Peak both look hard to beat in the Midway Handicap (1600m).