Godolphin's surprise decision to target Anamoe at the George Ryder Stakes (G1) instead of the Ranvet Stakes (G1) on the same card proved vindicated, when the champion racehorse notched his ninth group 1 success in exhilarating style March 18.
Sent off the AU$1.80 favorite in the 11-runner field, Anamoe overcame a wide run from the outside barrier to power his way to the front with 100 meters remaining, before holding off the late charge of Fangirl to win by a long neck.
"IT'S ANAMOE'S GEORGE RYDER!"— SKY Racing (@SkyRacingAU) March 18, 2023
The champion did it tough today to win his 9th Group 1!@mcacajamez @JamesCummings88 @godolphin pic.twitter.com/8mRiwNLngJ
Converge, who led for the majority of the contest, was nosed out for second, while last-start Canterbury Stakes (G1) winner Artorius finished fourth, three-quarters of a length from the winner.
Anamoe's group 1 victories have often arrived with effortless class, however the son of Street Boss was made to work to claim a first George Ryder Stakes win, having endured a three-wide passage to the line.
Yet the colt demonstrated an imperious toughness to complement his unquestionable ability.
"He was in for the fight today," winning trainer James Cummings said. "I don't think he's at his best on really hot days where he sweats freely in the yard, but he was still very fit third-up, we kept him sharp for the 1,500 (meters) and he's a real danger stepping up to the 2,000 (meters) next time.
"He's going to go into the Queen Elizabeth undefeated this campaign. These are good horses in the George Ryder, it's a time-honored race and we've got to be pleased with the horse."
Anamoe will face off with Saturday's British-trained Ranvet Stakes (G1) winner Dubai Honour in what's set to be a mouthwatering renewal of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Randwick April 8.
Cummings said he was humbled by the reception given to Anamoe by the 21,000-strong crowd at Rosehill.
"For Anamoe to have a following is a special thing," he added. "We are so focused on the horse and the process, we don't spend too much time dwelling on that. But it is the beauty of turning on a day like today with a big crowd and you get blown away by the atmosphere."
Mr Brightside Hands Hayes Brothers All-Star Mile Victory
Fan favorite Mr Brightside cemented his place further into Victorian racing folklore by winning Saturday's All-Star Mile (G1) at Moonee Valley.
The Ben and JD Hayes-trained 5-year-old claimed the AU$5 million showpiece by a half-length ahead of the fast-finishing Cascadian and Tasmanian raider The Inevitable, who came home a length behind the winner in third.
Alligator Blood, the AU$2.70 favorite, finished fourth as his challenge dissipated in the straight.
Mr Brightside, last year's Doncaster Mile (G1) winner, landed his biggest prize pot with Luke Currie in the saddle, who deputized for the injured Craig Williams.
A big congratulations to team Flemington’s @lindsayparkrace on their huge #AllStarMile win with Mr Brightside 🙌⭐️pic.twitter.com/X8d5iYpvA0— Victoria Racing Club (@FlemingtonVRC) March 18, 2023
"He jumped ok and landed on Alligator Blood back and then the way the race panned out he was back in behind Nugget on the fence," the winning rider said.
"When Daniel Moor got going (on I'm Thunderstruck at the 600-meter mark) the field bunched a bit and I was able to then come off (the fence) and then decide whether to follow Alligator Blood through or come out and have a good clear run and follow I'm Thunderstruck around them, which I elected to do.
"Blake (Shinn, on Alligator Blood) weaved a bit of magic and got his way through, and I thought, 'it might be all over from there'. But, my horse, when he caught it, I knew he was in for the fight, and he was too strong today."
Mr Brightside earned Ben and JD Hayes their first group 1 victory as a partnership when winning the Doncaster Mile, and the 5-year-old added another accolade to their trophy haul.
"I'm still pinching myself, it's just a huge thrill," JD Hayes said. "We're having a bit of a purple patch at the moment and hopefully it can keep going.
"This horse is just a beautiful animal; he wears his heart on his sleeve and he just tries so hard.
"It was a ten-out-of-ten ride by Luke Currie. Commiserations to Craig Williams, he's put so much work into him and we had him right on the right day."