Saturday summary: Group 1 glory for valuable colts

15 min read
Anamoe (Street Boss {USA}) lived up to expectations with a supreme performance in the Caulfield Guineas, while high-priced yearling purchase Profondo (Deep Impact {Jpn}) made his mark on the big stage at Randwick.

Cover image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

Race-Day Recap

Valuable colt Anamoe (Street Boss {USA}) maintained his place at the top of his generation with a sparkling victory in the G1 Neds Caulfield Guineas.

Bought for $1.9 million as a yearling, emerging star Profondo (Deep Impact {Jpn}) stepped up to the big time with a dominant performance in the G1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion S. at Randwick.

The colours of Cox Plate favourite Zaaki (GB) (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}) were lowered for the first time in five months as Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) prevailed in the G1 Might And Power S. at Caulfield.

Up-and-comer I'm Thunderstruck (NZ) (Shocking) lived up to his favouritism with a big performance in the G1 Hyland Race Colours Toorak H.

Last season's Magic Millions Guineas winner Aim (Star Witness) returned to form with an upset victory in the $500,000 Silver Eagle.

Quality colt Paulele (Dawn Approach {Ire}) pushed his case for a slot in The Everest with an emphatic victory in the G2 Polytrack Roman Consul S. over the same course and distance as next Saturday’s $15 million feature.

Anamoe stars in Guineas for Godolphin

A valuable victory in Saturday’s G1 Neds Caulfield Guineas confirmed once again that stellar colt Anamoe (Street Boss {USA}) is everything his owner-breeders Godolphin have always thought he was.

Fifth on debut in the Listed Debutant S. at this meeting last year, Anamoe developed into a standout among last season’s 2-year-old crop with victories in the Listed Merson Cooper S., G2 Todman S. and G1 Sires’ Produce S., interspersed with strong-finishing placings in the G1 Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper S.

Godolphin identified the Guineas a long way out as the day for Anamoe to again assert supremacy of his generation, and after starting out the spring with a win in the G2 The Run to the Rose and a second in the G1 Golden Rose, he headed to Melbourne and delivered in Saturday’s grand final.

Skilfully ridden by Damien Oliver, Anamoe eased back from his wide gate and settled in the rear half of the field, three-wide but with cover.

Oliver moved him through his gears and then sent him into full flight in the straight, sweeping past G1 Champagne S. winner Captivant (Capitalist) for an emphatic 0.5l victory.

Captivant held second by 1.25l over fellow Newgate-China Horse Club colt Artorius (Flying Artie), who produced a big late run from well back.

Anamoe stopped the clock at 1:35.00, which is believed to be a race record, beating the 1:35.36 set by Helmet (Exceed And Excel) a decade ago.

Anomoe with connections after victory in the G1 Neds Caulfield Guineas | Image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

From 10 starts, the James Cummings-trained Anamoe has recorded five wins and four placings and amassed more than $3.2 million in stakes.

“He’s just such a wonderful animal, a rare animal,” Godolphin’s Sean Keogh said. “The expectations on the horse have always been there from day dot, and that adds to the pressure.

“He delivered in his 2-year-old year, being a Group 1 winner, and now to return to the highest level as a 3-year-old colt is just unbelievable.

“This was his grand final, you could say. He always seemed to be in the mould of a Classic-type horse that would relish a mile. The guys targeted this race a long way out. Even as a 2-year-old, he was always that type of horse.

“The expectations on the horse (Anamoe) have always been there from day dot, and that adds to the pressure." - Sean Keogh

“A lot has gone into it, and for him to produce an effort like that today is outstanding by the team up in Sydney and all around Australia. The Godolphin team will be watching today and will be very proud of this horse.

“There was some uncertainty around the draw (15), and James (Cummings) and Damien (Oliver) had some conversations around that, but we didn’t want to change anything we’ve done in the past. Essentially, we wanted to just let the horse do his thing. We thought he’d be capable on the day, and that’s how it played out.”

Second Guineas for Oliver

Anamoe provided a second taste of Caulfield Guineas glory for jockey Damien Oliver, whose previous win came aboard Centro (NZ) (Century) back in 1990.

Damien Oliver wins his second G1 Caulfield Guineas | Image courtesy of Racing Photos

“It’s been a long time between drinks,” the champion rider said. “It took a top-class colt to do it. He’s shown so much since day one. He’s just a magnificent specimen of a horse. When I got on him today, the first time for a little while, I could see that he had grown into a beautiful horse that we thought he would.

“He’s (Anamoe) a magnificent horse. He’s like a lot of good horses, he knows he’s good, pricks his ears for the camera." - Damien Oliver

“I rode my first Group 1 for James Cummings’ grandfather Bart here on Submariner in the Sir Rupert Clarke. I’ve ridden Group 1 winners for Anthony, and now James as well. It’s good to do it for three generations.”

Profondo makes Spring Champion statement

Less than half an hour after Anamoe greatly enhanced his value with a Group 1 triumph in the Caulfield Guineas, high-priced yearling purchase Profondo (Deep Impact {Jpn}) followed suit with a power-packed victory of his own in the G1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion S. at Randwick.

Profondo was a $1.9 million purchase by Galletta Construction Co Pty Ltd at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. After a maiden victory on the Kensington track on September 1 and a close second placing in the G3 Gloaming S. three weeks later, the Richard Litt-trained colt stepped up on to the big stage in superb style on Saturday.

Ridden by first-time Group 1 winner Robbie Dolan, Profondo stalked the front-runner Never Been Kissed (NZ) (Tivaci) up to the turn, then quickly overpowered last week's G1 Flight S. winner after straightening for home.

Dolan sent Profondo into overdrive and he went clear, opening up to beat Never Been Kissed by 2.25l.

“I don’t know what to say,” an emotional Dolan said. “First of all, thanks to the owners for keeping me on the horse today, because they could have put anyone on him. I can’t even speak. I came here five years ago with a school bag on my back, just trying to ride a few winners.

“I can’t even speak. I came here five years ago with a school bag on my back, just trying to ride a few winners." - Robbie Dolan

“This horse is a machine. He should have won last time – I’ll take the blame for that. I panicked a little bit. For the owners to keep me on him today is a token of how nice they are. They deserve that as well.”

An emotional Robbie Dolan after winning his first Group 1 | Image courtesy of Ash Brennan

For Litt, Profondo’s victory was a case of going one better after former stable star Castelvecchio (Dundeel {NZ}) finished second in the Spring Champion S. two years ago.

“He’s left me speechless,” Litt said. “We’ve had a wonderful two weeks with him. We have come here today, he was very relaxed, and gee, the world is his oyster. It’s scary. We’re very excited.”

Probabeel crashes the Zaaki party

The aura of invincibility surrounding Cox Plate favourite Zaaki (GB) (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}) was punctured by Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) in an enthralling G1 Might And Power S. at Caulfield on Saturday.

Zaaki was a commanding $1.28 favourite in Saturday’s five-horse field, coming into the race on the back of an unstoppable run of winning form that made him a sensation of Australian racing.

Probabeel (NZ) | Image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

The ultra-talented gelding had won all of his last five starts including the G1 Doomben Cup and Underwood S., racking up a combined winning margin of more than 14l.

But the exceptional New Zealand mare Probabeel has had a year-long love affair with Caulfield, winning the G1 Futurity S., G3 Bellmaine S. and G3 Cockram S. among four previous appearances at the venue. And on Saturday she crashed the Zaaki party, scoring the 12th win of her career and her fourth at the highest level.

Probabeel dropped back to second-last in the early stages as No Effort (Reward For Effort) lived up to his name and set an easy pace in front. Homesman (USA) (War Front {USA}) threw down the gauntlet and went for gold well before the home turn, and the race developed into a desperate scramble down the straight.

Brett Prebble | Image courtesy of Racing Photos

Probabeel scythed through the inside to make her bid, and in the end it was she and Nonconformist (Rebel Raider) who pulled ahead to fight out the finish. Despite being at the limit of her stamina range, Probabeel called on all of her star qualities and edged out Nonconformist by 0.1l. There was another 1.8l back to Zaaki in third.

“Homesman put the pressure on from the 650, and she was just left a little bit flat-footed,” jockey Brett Prebble said. “I didn’t particularly like the position I was in at that stage, but I just had to deal with it.

“In the last 100, she had nothing left but just kept trying her heart out. She’s all guts and determination.”

“In the last 100, she (Probabeel) had nothing left but just kept trying her heart out. She’s all guts and determination.” - Brett Prebble

The win continued Prebble’s well-documented stellar spring, having previously won the G1 Memsie S. on Behemoth (All Too Hard) and the G1 Makybe Diva S. and Turnbull S. aboard Incentivise (Shamus Award).

“I’m getting a bit sick of talking about it,” Prebble said. “I’m more interested about the quality of horse that I’m riding and the job the trainers are doing for me. They’re the reason why I’m in the position I’m in.”

Probabeel is trained by champion Kiwi trainer Jamie Richards and races in the colours of Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay. Probabeel was a NZ$380,000 purchase by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis at the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.

Earlier on the Caulfield card, the same owner-trainer-jockey team struck Listed success in The Big Screen Company Weekend Hussler with last season’s G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner Kahma Lass (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}).

Williams unfazed

Despite Zaaki’s surprise defeat at Caulfield, jockey Craig Williams remains upbeat about his prospects for the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in two weeks’ time.

“Disappointing that we couldn’t keep his picket fence going, but the positive from the race is that he’s still got improvement in him,” he said.

“He was a little bit fresh and keen in the first half of the race when they put the tempo on. They outsprinted him. He’s not as comfortable around Caulfield, and even when they outsprinted him late, he still stuck on. We didn’t win this battle, but the war isn’t over.”

I’m Thunderstruck triumphs in Toorak

Rising star I’m Thunderstruck (NZ) (Shocking) lived up to his favouritism with a breakout performance in Saturday’s G1 Hyland Race Colours Toorak H. at Caulfield.

After progressing through the grades with four eye-catching victories from his first six starts, the 4-year-old gelding stepped up to Group 1 level with a close and unlucky third in the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S. on September 18.

On Saturday he set the record straight, surging out of an awkward midfield position before edging out multiple Group 1 winner Tofane (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) in a gruelling last 100 metres.

I'm Thunderstuck (NZ) (white cap) defeats Tofane (yellow cap) | Image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

“That was so good,” said Michael Kent Jnr, who trains in partnership with Mick Price. “The entire team have done a marvellous job – everybody that looks after him.

“It was a tough race to watch. He didn’t get a moment’s rest. He didn’t get a chance to relax and travel. They were playing jockeys – they were trying to keep the favourite in. For him to keep fighting, for a young inexperienced horse, it was a massive effort.

“For him (I'm Thunderstruck) to keep fighting, for a young inexperienced horse, it was a massive effort." - Michael Kent Jnr

“He was a big, flashy kind of horse when he first came into the stable, and I never thought it would come this soon with him. It’s very exciting and a big thrill for everyone involved. Hopefully he pulls up well. Now we’ve got three weeks until the Golden Eagle.”

I’m Thunderstruck began his career with young New Zealand trainer Daniel Miller, winning a trial before being purchased privately by OTI Racing through bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo.

Sweet 17 for Savatoxl

Reeling in the flying filly Dosh (Rich Enuff) and scoring by 0.1l in Saturday’s G2 Lexus Schillaci S. at Caulfield, remarkable gelding Savatoxl (Kuroshio) collected the 17th win of his 31-start career.

A former star performer in the Northern Territory, Savatoxl stepped up to the elite level with a powerful win in the G1 Goodwood at Morphettville in May. He had been unplaced in three starts since then, but turned things around in style on Saturday.

“His 17th win – what a culture that is, and gee, we’re excited to have him back as well as that,” co-trainer Tony McEvoy said. “That was a strung-out race. They went very quick, and it just shows how tough he is.

“His first run for me in the Balaklava Cup, he ran third and ran very well, but just didn’t run out the mile. He came to me in such great order and in form. We tried a couple of times at 1400 metres, but at this level I knew that he needed up to 1200 metres max, and he’s turned out a great short-course horse.

“The guys in Alice had such great faith in this horse, and I was pleased that they made the phone call to send him down to us. We’ll go to the Manikato next.”

Aim upsets Silver Eagle

Last season’s R. Listed Magic Millions 3YO Guineas winner Aim (Star Witness) had another big payday at Randwick on Saturday with an upset victory in the $500,000 Silver Eagle.

The gelding defied a quote of $31 for his Gold Coast triumph in January, and he went out at similar odds on Saturday after unplaced finishes in the G2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint, G3 Hawkesbury Guineas and G3 Fred Best Classic in between times.

Aim | Image courtesy of Ash Brennan

But Aim turned things around in style on Saturday, unleashing a strong finish down the outside and edging out Ellsberg (Spill The Beans) in a tight finish.

“We all know what he is capable of,” jockey Hugh Bowman said. “He just needs things to go his way a little bit, and then he can deliver. Today things went his way, but he’s a quality horse and we’ve seen him do it at this level and better before.”

“He (Aim) just needs things to go his way a little bit, and then he can deliver. Today things went his way, but he’s a quality horse and we’ve seen him do it at this level and better before.” - Hugh Bowman

Bought for $200,000 at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Aim has now won four of his 16 starts and more than $1.6 million in stakes. He may now have a shot at the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill on October 30.

Aim’s Silver Eagle heroics capped a highly successful Saturday afternoon for trainers Peter and Paul Snowden, who also won the G3 Angst S. with Mirra Vision (Lonhro).

Paulele pushes Everest case

A week out from the $15 million The Everest at Randwick, quality 3-year-old colt Paulele (Dawn Approach {Ire}) pushed his case for a place in the field with a commanding performance over the same course and 1200 metre distance in Saturday’s G2 Polytrack Roman Consul S.

Godolphin has yet to confirm a runner for its Everest slot, and Paulele’s performance on Saturday could have a significant bearing on the team’s decision-making over the next few days.

Paulele | Image courtesy of Ash Brennan

An impressive winner of the Listed The Rosebud on his 3-year-old debut, Paulele had to settle for second in his next two appearances – behind subsequent G1 Golden Rose winner In The Congo (Snitzel) in the G3 San Domenico S., and behind confirmed Everest starter Home Affairs (I Am Invincible) in the Listed Heritage S.

But on Saturday Paulele put himself right back in the spotlight, powering to a 1.44l victory over Gleneagles (Capitalist) and King Of Sparta (I Am Invincible).

“As we’ve stated in the past, we have a lot of confidence in the colt,” trainer James Cummings said. “He’s won it in good style. There was a bit of pressure on him, being the short-priced favourite. He had the wide run and put himself into the race.

“He’s (Paulele) won it in good style. There was a bit of pressure on him, being the short-priced favourite. He had the wide run and put himself into the race." - James Cummings

“You have to be impressed by the win. He hit the line really well the last three furlongs with a sustained sprint. He’s definitely a high-class colt and we have some options with him.

“I think it’s worthwhile giving The Everest a lot of thought. He’ll be competitive in The Everest on the seven-day back-up, I’m sure. There are other options too. The Manikato is an option for him, and so is the Coolmore.

“He’s knocking on the door to be a potential Group 1 horse, but that is for us to consider. There is not long to go before we have to lock in our own horse for The Everest, and you’ll know once we’ve had long discussions.”

Raceday Summary
Saturday Summary
Caulfield
Randwick