Anamoe gets crowning moment in Cox Plate triumph

James McDonald and James Cummings combine to win the Ladbrokes Cox Plate with Anamoe at Moonee Valley. (Photo by George Sal/Racing Photos)

Even James Cummings was searching for words after Anamoe’s stunning breakthrough Cox Plate triumph at Moonee Valley.

The star young trainer who speaks so well for a moment had to hold back the tears after being denied at the post by State Of Rest last year.

He also had to take a moment to process just how great his four-year-old is.

Four Group 1 starts, four Group 1 victories this preparation.

And the best of all – and probably of his and Cummings’ career – was achieved in style on Saturday.

2022 Cox Plate Replay

The superstar stallion took advantage of his beautiful fourth position to then launch his run on the straight, and hold off a fast-finishing I’m Thunderstruck.

Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr’s five-year-old produced an incredibly courageous effort to push Anamoe late after he was second-last before the turn in the $5 million feature over 2040m.

But it was all about Cummings’ incredible middle-distance runner.

The world is now his oyster.

“It’s a humbling experience for me, but I’m just grateful I can be a part of a horse as great as Anamoe,” Cummings told

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s got me a little lost for words, but I’ll find them there somewhere.

“The truth is he’s had a gun preparation. A couple of times it hasn’t been plain sailing, but my team has come together and got him in perfect shape.

“Halfway through the race I couldn’t help but feel very calm about it.

“There were no surprises and it went to script.

“We had the horse in absolutely mint condition to perform.

“The right horses have run second and third, so it was a proper Cox Plate. It’s an absolute humbling privilege to be winning it.”

Cummings compared his stable star to some of the greats of yesteryear.

And why not? He is now Australia’s best middle-distance horse.

“I had a fella give me a few DVDs of some past champion horses. I’m watching Nijinski eat some grass after attempting to win the Prix de I’Arc de Triomphe,” he said.

“I’ve seen the tapes of Dancing Brave. This horse – you put him in their stratosphere, he’s just that good.

“We’re lucky to be a part of it, and it’s a really humbling experience.”

It was champion jockey James McDonald’s 72nd Group 1 victory, and he too was lost for words.

“It’s the best, isn’t it? It’s the best horses assembled,” he said.

“I was on a champion today and it’s been a big build-up – the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.

“It’s unbelievable, especially on this horse.

“I felt the tension – I could cut it with a butter knife.

“It’s good to get it over and done with. I don’t know how Hughie Bowman did it with four of them.

“What a race. I’m so proud of this horse. Full credit to him – he’s incredible.”

McDonald knew exactly what he was doing by holding his fourth position before asking his champion runner to make his move after rounding the turn for home.

“James (Cummings) made a point of that. But he trains these horses to perfection,” McDonald said.

“I’ve had a lot to do with him over the past couple of months, and I just love how he thinks about things and executes things.

“He’s got a superstar in his hands and I’m glad I was able to be the lucky rider on him.”

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