By Duane Fonseca
It’s never too late for a drought to end and Damien Oliver would have well and truly celebrated bringing to a close his 31 year hoodoo in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas Saturday with Godolphin’s Anamoe, who put in a solid effort to add the Australian Classic to Godolphin’s burgeoning reputation in the 3yo category for 2021.
The Street Boss colt was favourite to win the 1600m contest at the East Melbourne track but turning for home and heading into the short straight, he still had much ground to cover with Peter and Paul Snowden’s Captivant only just ahead of a wave of hopefuls.
James Cummings’ much-experienced stable star and Group 1 Inglis Sires winner however had plenty in hand with Oliver delivering a peach of a ride that was all of cautious, calculated and cunning. Raced midfield for most of it, Oliver asked everything of Anamoe once the track straightened to the finish and with 200m left he threw the kitchen sink. The Luke Currie driven Captivant made it a captivating finish in that he did not throw in the towel until the end, but the short match race had been put to bed 50m out with Anamoe racing clear for a half length success.
A further three fourths behind in third was Anthony and Sam Freedman’s Artorious with Damian Lane up.
It was a good day for Godolphin with Paulele highlighting his position as Australia’s best sprinting 3yo with success in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick.
Anamoe’s win gave Oliver his first Group One win for Godolphin and completed a rare, personal treble for the jockey, who had ridden a Group 1 winner for Cumming’s grandfather Bart and father Anthony.
“It’s been a long time between drinks, and it took a top class colt to do it. He’s shown us so much since day one,” Oliver said.
“He’s just a magnificent specimen of a horse. When I got on him today, the first time in a little while, I could see that he had grown into a beautiful horse that we thought he would.”
Cummings assistant, Sean Keogh, who saddled Anamoe, said: “He’s always been in the mould of a colt who would relish the mile of today’s race.
“He’s such a rare animal, a champion 2yo who is now the top 3yo.”
The Caulfield Guineas is one of Australia’s great stallion-making races and Anamoe fulfilled the requirements of the winner of such an event. Victory in the Guineas was his gift overall and Keogh credited the victory to the entire Australian operation.
“A lot went into it, and to produce him on the day with an effort like that was just outstanding from the team in Sydney and all around Australia. They’ll be very proud of this horse,” Keogh said.
“We’d seen from when he broke his maiden that he was very much in the mould of his sire, Street Boss.”