Caulfield Guineas favourite Anamoe has come up with barrier 15 in Saturday’s $2 million race, but jockey Damien Oliver is looking to turn that into a “positive rather than a negative”.
The three-year-old son of Street Boss ran a narrow second to In The Congo in last month’s Golden Rose Stakes (1400m), but punters have forgiven him and are happy to see the colt go around as favourite again this Saturday.
After an emphatic victory in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes back in April, Anamoe has been penned as Australia’s best three-year-old, despite being defeated in the Golden Slipper Stakes, the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Golden Rose.
Oliver will ride Anamoe once again in Saturday’s Group 1, with the jockey looking forward to getting back aboard the star colt.
“He’s a really nice horse,” Oliver told Racing.com.
“From the first time I got on him, I thought he was a really good horse and I just felt he would be better as he gets out in distance as well.
“He’s shown that when he got to the 1400m in the Sires’ as a two-year-old, and he’s seemed to have come back really well as a three-year-old as well.”
Anamoe is the $2.60 favourite for the Guineas but has eased from $2.40 after Tuesday morning’s barrier draw, which has Oliver plotting a course to avoid bad luck from gate 15.
“It wouldn’t have been my first choice,” the jockey said.
“I suppose there’s a bit of time between now and Saturday to digest that.
“Try and work it into a positive rather than a negative.
“It’s obviously a big field; you’d think with more numbers in it, it should be a more truly run race.
“It’ll just give me a chance to give him a bit of time to probably balance up, but he’s a versatile horse.”
This will be the first time Anamoe will be tested beyond 1400m, although Oliver believes the 1600m should suit after an ideal lead-up in the Golden Rose.
“At a mile, I think he’s adaptable to ride anywhere,” Oliver said.
“I thought it was very good (Anamoe’s run in the Golden Rose).
“He made up really good ground; it was probably a day it wasn’t as easy to make up ground that day it appeared from watching from afar.
“He was only second-up going into that run, whereas a lot of those horse he was up against already had two or three runs under their belt, so you’d think he would continue to improve off that run.”
Oliver has partnered Anamoe on four previous occasions, which happened to be the colt’s first four starts, winning once at Listed level before placing in both the Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude and Blue Diamond Stakes, so he will be hoping to pick up where he left off.
“Every time I rode him as a two-year-old, I was just thinking I couldn’t wait for him to come back as a three-year-old and get out over a bit further,” he said.
“He was just struggling to stay in touch in those shorter two-year-old races, and he just felt like he needed a chance to really travel and get out over a little bit further.
“As a three-year-old now, he certainly gets that opportunity.”
Anamoe finished third to Artorius in the Blue Diamond in February and it is that runner who is the best backed to beat him, with Artorius firming from $4.60 into $3.80 since the barrier draw was announced.