Cummings Defends Anamoe's Honour Ahead Of Queen Elizabeth Showdown

By Ray Hickson

James Cummings has challenged any Anamoe doubters to re-watch his George Ryder Stakes win and get a true appreciation for the performance ahead of his highly anticipated clash with Dubai Honour at Randwick on Saturday.

Trainer James Cummings (Pic: Bradley Photos)

The Godolphin trainer went into bat for his nine-time Group 1 winner on RSN on Thursday morning saying while Anamoe doesn’t always win by flashy margins he can’t have done a whole lot more in that race given the path he was forced into taking.

“Anamoe’s record is his record and Anamoe can rely on that,’’ Cummings said.

“If you don’t just watch the last 400m of the race and watch the race in its entirety go and watch the George Ryder and you can appreciate the amount of bottom that Anamoe has to him, the depth that he’s got to be able to find when things don’t go perfectly for the horse.

“I have not trained many winners at Rosehill that have sat three and four wide the trip let alone Group 1 weight-for-age races and Anamoe has the depth and the rating to be able to rely on covering ground in a race like the George Ryder and still winning.

“You might ask the question which other horses in the Queen Elizabeth would be able to sit three and four wide in that George Ryder and still win. Anamoe was able to do it.”

The four-year-old has won 14 of his 24 starts for over $10.6 million in prizemoney and has only been beaten once this season, in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) in November.

Anamoe shared favouritism with Dubai Honour at $2.50 with TAB on Thursday for the Group 1 $5 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and have drawn alongside each other.

It’s a race billed as a showdown and it’s also Anamoe’s final Australian start – a potential UK campaign beckons before he retires to stud – and it’s in a race that hasn’t provided fitting swansongs for some champions of the past.

Lonhro (2004) was beaten by Grand Armee in the race and Octagonal (1997) also finished second to Intergaze in their farewell runs.

Cummings said the George Ryder provided the perfect lead up for Anamoe given he has an imposing record when stepping up to 2000m for the first time in a campaign.

“It’s the absolute ideal race for the horse to be running the best race of his campaign,’’ he said.

“We look forward potentially seeing him put up the grand final performance that we’ve come to expect from him.

"I think the build up has been outstanding and the lead up has been very straightforward for our horse.

“The pace should be very genuine and Anamoe has got the opportunity to be up there or back depending on how he begins and where James (McDonald) feels comfortable settling down on the horse.”

Godolphin is also represented by Australian Cup winner Cascadian in the Queen Elizabeth and Cummings expects the flashy chestnut with the blaze to run a big race.

But he doubts whether the eight-year-old is capable of toppling his stablemate.

“He’s come through that high rating All Star Mile that provided the trifecta for the Doncaster. He’s going to arrive fourth-up in the race with excellent credentials over a mile and a quarter,’’ Cummings said.

“He’s got the turn of foot to put himself into the race.

“Should he really be able to beat Anamoe? I don’t really think so, that’s one of the opposition I have a good line on. I don’t think Cascadian can beat him but it’s a big contest and he deserves his place there.”