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Three Group-level victories featuring G1 star Anamoe, Corniche and Pericles

Anamoe burst through the $11 million prize money barrier and scored his eighth G1 victory when a dominant winner of the time-honoured Chipping Norton Stakes (1,600m) on Saturday, 25 February at Royal Randwick in Sydney.

The champion Godolphin galloper settled midfield before jockey James McDonald brought the four-year-old to the centre of the track to race clear of Fangirl and Mo’unga.

Anamoe followed in the hoofprints of previous Australian champions such as Phar Lap, Bernborough, Tulloch, Octagonal, Lonhro, Winx and Verry Elleegant as a winner of the Chipping Norton.

Second-up after winning the G2 Apollo Stakes (1,400m) at the same track two weeks earlier, Anamoe improved his record to 13 wins and seven placings from 23 starts for prize money earnings of a $11,162,025.

Godolphin Australia head trainer James Cummings was thrilled with the stallion’s performance after McDonald settled further back than anticipated before timing his finishing run to perfection.

“That’s the opportunity that Anamoe gets to show himself when there’s proper pace in the race,” Cummings said.

“He was just six lengths back coiled up, ready to launch when some quality horses were up there vying for the lead early.

“He can bounce off this win and it’s been a perfect start to the prep, that’s what we’ve been aiming for.

“Two out of two this campaign is great and hopefully we can keep aiming up with him.”

Anamoe may have only a few more starts in Australia before heading to England to finish his career with a run at Royal Ascot.

“We’ve got three weeks to the Ranvet (Stakes, 2,000m) or the George Ryder (Stakes, 1,500m),” Cummings explained.

“But we’ll get through this weekend, give ourselves a solid plan to stick to on his assault at Royal Ascot.

“So far, he’s had a faultless campaign and we’ve really been pleased with how he’s built up.”

McDonald praised Anamoe’s “arrogant” performance and said the early pace of the race allowed his mount to show his finishing power. 

“He was curled up ready and then he exploded today, he was wicked,” the champion rider said.

“I was three, four pairs back and he was explosive.

“He was spectacular, that was arrogant.

“I’ve always wanted to do that.”

Earlier at Randwick, improving two-year-old Corniche books this spot in the G1 Golden Slipper next month with a clear win in the G2 Skyline Stakes over 1,200m.

Placed at his first three starts in Melbourne, Corniche raced his way into Golden Slipper calculations with a dominant victory.

The colt raced in fourth place to the home turn before jockey Brenton Avdulla pulled him across the leaders’ heels at the top of the straight.

Corniche sprinted clear to beat Shinzo and Bases Loaded by 1.6 lengths.

“He’s got the ability to put himself right in the race and he enjoyed getting to Randwick,” Cummings said.

“We have to be delighted with that performance heading into the Slipper in three weeks’ time.”

At Sandown in Melbourne, improving three-year-old Pericles won the G2 Autumn Classic (1,800m).

Beautifully ridden by premier jockey Jamie Kah, Pericles burst through on the inside at the 300-meter mark after enjoying a perfect run in transit behind the leaders.

Pericles, who took his record to two wins and two placings from five starts for prize money earnings of $393,200, beat Mr Maestro and Ausbred Rising Sun by nearly three lengths.

Stable foreman Sean Keogh always believed the gelding had the ability to win a feature race and hinted of more to come.

“He’d had the promise there but he had to come and do it,” Keogh said.

“He’d seen a tough run first-up over seven (furlongs), but James (Cummings) felt he could step him up to 1,800m in the Autumn Classic.

“He’s got noms for all the big races, the (Australian) Guineas, the Rosehill Guineas and onto the AJC Derby as well.

Kah was little surprised how quickly Pericles sprinted when she hit the accelerator.

“I worked him on Tuesday and off that I though he can’t get beaten,” she said.

“Even so, he had an electric turn of foot today.

“I thought he was more of a grinder but today he was electric and super strong on the line.

“Wherever they go he’ll be very competitive, he’s such a versatile horse.”