Andrew Le Jeune

Presenter & Columnist


LJ Confidential: can Anamoe answer the questions on Australian form?

The pride of Australia will need to repel the international raid led by Dubai Honour and make a statement for the country’s questionable middle distance form.

The Championships are Australia’s premier autumn racing but the major open age races loom as a litmus test for the country’s middle distance and staying ranks. 

The G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes is being billed as a match race between Australia’s undisputed weight-for-age champ Anamoe and Dubai Honour. I think Anamoe is vulnerable at 2000 metres, especially on a rain affected track. 

Beyond the sprinter-milers, the quality of Australian-bred horses is under the microscope. Dubai Honour is a good horse but he is hardly top-line elite in Europe, and if Anamoe is put in his place it will say a lot about the strength – or lack thereof – of Australia’s middle-distance ranks. 

Anamoe is a nine-time Group 1 winner for Godolphin and trainer James Cummings and has designs on a start at Royal Ascot midway through the year. If he is to make any sort of impact in the northern hemisphere then he needs to win here. 

While everybody is focussed on the top two in betting, Montefilia and talented apprentice Dylan Gibbons could provide some good value in betting. 

Yulong's big spend

The Australian Easter Yearling Sales saw records broken, the headlines proclaimed the sale the “best of the best” and the statistics made it hard to argue. 

Despite concerns about a global economic downturn and interest rate rises affecting the market, there were 26 horses sold for over AU$1 million and a total of AU$138 million spent across two days. 

All of the traditional big players spent and sold but it was emerging breeding giant Yulong who made the biggest splash. 

Yulong bought 24 yearlings and two others with partners for a total of more than AU$13 million. It was a continuation of what has been a mammoth spend in the last few years in both hemispheres. 

Alcohol Free cost Yulong 5.4 million Guineas (AU$10.6 million) out of Andrew Balding’s English yard late last year. The ultimate aim for the mare is the AU$15 million Everest in October, but it is interesting that new trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have opted to return in a 1600 metre race first-up. 

On her best form she would win this race in a canter: she won a July Cup, two of her four Group 1 wins are at a mile, and she was placed behind Baaeed in a Lockinge. The question mark is the gap between runs and facing race-fit opposition. 

The doubts make this a race to sit back and watch for me: it is just exciting to see such a high-calibre mare head to Australia and race. 


Alcohol Free winning the 2022 July Cup at Newmarket. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Where in the world for Lucky Sweynesse?

Hong Kong’s best sprinter Lucky Sweynesse returns in the G2 Sprint Cup on Sunday at Sha Tin but rumours are swirling about possible overseas targets for Manfred Man’s four-year-old. 

Earlier this week his regular jockey Zac Purton pushed the idea of pressing for a slot in the AU$15 million Everest at Randwick in October. Talk at home has been centered around a possible trip to Royal Ascot, but it is thought that the owners are being drawn in by the generous travel subsidies offered by the Japan Racing Association (JRA) . 

It might seem a strange choice for a standout sprinter, but after the way he won a G1 at 1400m last time, it wouldn’t surprise to see Lucky Sweynesse contest the Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo on June 4. 

Andrew's Randwick Best Bets

R6 (HKJC simulcast S1-4) No.1 Pennyweka WIN

R7 (S1-5) No.5 Arapaho EACH-WAY

R8 (S1-6) No.12 Montefilia EACH-WAY 




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