The Road To The Rose was paved in blue at the Rosehill meeting at Kembla Grange on Saturday with Godolphin’s colt Anamoe sent out for his spring debut in the Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) and the two-year-old Group 1 winner was superb under James McDonald.
Once McDonald set the Street Boss colt off as they commenced the turn there was an inevitability about the result. Sydney’s leading rider was sure enough of his charge to swing five wide in pursuit of In The Congo and Josh Parr on the rails attempting to run the rest of their feet, which they nearly succeeded, except for Anamoe.
The battle plans were there for all to see. Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside and Kerrin McEvoy had followed In The Congo every step of the way and behind Anamoe there was the looming presence of Remarque and Hugh Bowman with the same intent.
The goal of the expedition for In The Congo was to have sufficient time over Anamoe, but the athleticism of the latter was on full display as he came down the middle of the track. One reminder from McDonald was sufficient to advise Anamoe that he was back at the races and it was time to show who was ‘Boss’, and he did.
The critical timing from the 400m to the 200m had Anamoe at 10.92 to In The Congo’s 11.19 and then from the 200m to the finish they clocked 11.62 and 11.89 respectively, the margin a neck going away. Final 600m times 33.76 and 34.59.
In The Congo was very tough once again and he lost no kudos for his performance, clearly defeating the others and ridden to his maximum potential, the Group 2 placing sits well with his Group 3 San Domenico Stakes win. Sprinting is his game.
Anamoe and James McDonald in command in the middle, picture Sportpix.com.au
Behind these two were three interesting performances. Remarque tried very hard to chase Anamoe and for a time he succeeded, he covered the 400m to the 200m matching strides at 10.93, but he could not sustain the pace with 11.80 over the final 200m for third. Then David Payne’s Capitalist colt Gleneagles arrived from a long way back, also clocking 10.93 followed by 11.65 for a closing fourth.
Gleneagles was seventh at the 200m, Anamoe was third, yet he finished 2L from the winner in a thoughtful finish that may speak of requiring another 200m. There is a common factor between Gleneagles and Anamoe in Street Boss. Scarlett Billows is the dam of Gleneagles and she is by Street Boss, however with Hussonet on the other side of his pedigree, is he either a sprinter who cannot match early pace or taking a dose from the ‘Boss’ needing the additional journey.
Scarlett Billions won to 1400m at Group 3 level and she was good enough to run fourth to the mighty Chautauqua in the 2015 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes, 1 1/4L from the champion sprinter. Perhaps all will be revealed in the Rose.
Then we come to fifth placed Stay Inside. For the second race in succession the Extreme Choice colt has nearly matched his rivals only to not sustain the run. Ridden back in the San Domenico the colt loomed and faded to fifth, ridden forward on Saturday he kept with In The Congo until the final 200 when he again faded clocking 12.14.
Precocious at two and a dominant Slipper win, Stay Inside now must fight off the added maturity of his rivals and the enormous strain of actually winning the Slipper. An unenviable task with a challenge to win another race of consequence, as many Slipper winners have failed to do.
The lasting impression of the race as we look toward the $1m, Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) on September 25th, presumably back at Kembla Grange, is of the power of Anamoe, unleashed but giving the very real view of not being fully unleashed. His later start to his campaign might well be beneficial over the coming weeks.
Before all of that, it is back to Randwick next Saturday for the $1m, Group 1 WFA George Main Stakes (1600m) and an excellent support card.