It was one of the most talked about Cox Plates in recent times, and twelve-months on star colts State Of Rest and Anamoe are set to go toe-to-toe again in this year’s Moonee Valley feature.
The Irish visitor was first past the post and survived a marathon touch and go protest by Craig Williams to secure the trophy in the Stewards room.
Godolphin head trainer James Cummings says the proposition of a highly anticipated rematch is exciting.
“It’s got that feel about it. A good colt anywhere in the world’s a good colt, and it’s going to be mouth-watering if both horses turn up in good form on the day to do battle,” he said.
“I think that State Of rest is a beautiful horse, Joseph O’Brien had a lot of confidence in the horse and thought he was a top liner, and he campaigned accordingly.
“Whilst there was only a nose to split them on the day, don’t forget there was a champion Verry Elleegant was whacking away in third then blew them away in the Melbourne Cup.”
The now four-year-old son of Street Boss is back in work ahead of an action-packed Spring campaign, which is again set to culminate in the Cox Plate.
“He was so good in the Cox Plate last year as a three-year-old, lots of the time Caulfield Guineas winners can leave it all there on the track in the Caulfield Guineas,” Cummings said.
“We need to see Anamoe make that transition to weight-for-age, he needs to have improved, he needs to be stronger again.
“For a horse that’s been so precocious, that’s a bit of a challenge, he’s been up every prep, he’s danced every dance.
“He’s come back well so far, cantering around beautifully, hacking up in some gallops in the morning, I’m really pleased with his preliminary.
“It’s going to be really important to hit the ground running.”
Anamoe will do just that in the Winx Stakes (1400m) later this month, and Cummings says with maturity on his side will be suited by the seven-furlong kick-off point.
“I can foresee him running very well there over 1400m first up, he’s traditionally run over short distances first up before, now that he can nestle into his distances, we think seven furlongs will suit him nicely,” Cummings said.
“We’re going to need to have a horse in outstanding form and in perfect shape to be any hope at all.
“There’s no doubt it’s (Spring) well and truly headlined by Anamoe and the big targets he has ahead of him this Spring.”
Cummings has also highlighted Cascadian as one to watch, with the dual Group 1 winner set to feature prominently over the Melbourne Spring.
“We’ve got opportunities here, there, and everywhere which is exciting for us,” Cummings said.
“We’ve got the return of the All Aged Stakes winner Cascadian who’s a multiple Group 1 winner now, and it’d be great to see him back into form.
“We were really happy with the Spring Carnival that we produced twelve months ago, and we’ve got different challenges ahead, we’ve got a little bit more of a focus on our older horses headlined by Anamoe.”