Anchor Bid dominant in Flemington win

Anchor Bid ridden by Craig Williams wins the Byerley Handicap at Flemington Racecourse on July 22, 2017 in Flemington, Australia. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Anchor Bid has gained automatic entry to a feature staying race in the spring with a win as a short-priced favourite at Flemington.

Success in Saturday’s Byerley Handicap means the Darren Weir-trained two-year-old can bypass the ballot for the VRC Oaks during Melbourne Cup week at Flemington.

But Weir has not committed her to a start in the Oaks, saying the rising three-year-old filly will be a better galloper in the autumn.

“They’re only three once, so she’ll go home, freshen up and then we’ll plan a bit of an attack into the spring,” Weir said.

“How far we get, I don’t know but I think she’ll be better later on.”

Ridden by Craig Williams, Anchor bid was sent out the $1.40 favourite before scoring by 2-1/4 lengths from Justice Faith ($13) with Think Diamonds ($13) a half-neck away third.

Weir said Anchor Bid was a cracking type of filly when she entered his stable and he believes her to be as good a staying filly to have come into his yard.

He said Anchor Bid was a better horse than Tiamo Grace, winner of the Group Two Wakeful Stakes last spring, at the same stage of her career.

Weir said there were positives to come from Saturday’s victory.

“She raced a little closer and raced really nice with her head down and relaxed,” he said.

“And then she had to bullock her way out as well.

“Going forward, I think there’s some good signs.”

Williams, who took the lead in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership with Anchor Bid’s win, said the filly has the potential to be an Oaks filly.

“If they don’t want to go that way in the spring there’s plenty of Oaks races for her in the autumn,” he said.

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