Horse racing’s greatest rivalry rekindled in 2021 Caulfield Guineas

| October 9, 2021

One of horse racing’s greatest rivalries occurred in the late 70’s. Two champion colts, Affirmed and Alydar. Competing against eachother on no less than 10 occasions. Heroic duals in G1 racing, which included the American Triple Crown series of 1978. 

Will the present day colts, Artorius and Anamoe, rekindle this great alliterated rivalry in today’s Caulfield Guineas? The likelihood that they match past heroics may be slim. However Australian racing would love to have another enthralling contest between two talented horses.

Great rivalries in Australian horse racing

On home soil, we’ve enjoyed a number of rivalries in our time. Black Caviar and Haylist come to mind. Further back in the early 70’s, the two great Geoff Murphy-trained fillies, Surround and Savoir. Each champions in their own right, they competed against eachother on several occasions at the highest level. Redoute’s Choice and Testa Rossa is another contest that has stood a level above. Is the 2021 Caulfield Guineas the start of another mouth watering rivalry, involving Artorius and Anamoe.

The stakes are high

The Caulfield Guineas over 1600m is the race where Australia’s crack 3YO’s face off for ultimate spoils. The winner destined to be one of the country’s top breeding stallions when the racing career is done. The stakes are the highest possible in Australian racing. The Caulfield Guineas is a stallion making race. It is also a breed shaper with implications felt across the globe. Little wonder the Caulfield Guineas is targeted from an early age.

Clash of the colts

The race is widely thought to be a match race between two of the seasons best 3YO colts. Last year’s Blue Diamond winner Artorius aims to capture another Group One. Artorius is currently $3.90 on both Unibet and PlayUp. He faces crack colt Anamoe, recent runner up in the Golden Rose and hitting peak form.

Anamoe won the G1 Sires’ Produce at Randwick last year with an explosive turn of foot. This season he beat off In The Congo in the G2 Run to the Rose (1200m). In their next meeting he was unable to run him down in the G1 Golden Rose. The Caulfield mile looks perfect for the son of Street Boss. His dam Anamato captured the G1 Australian Oaks and placed in the VRC Oaks. Anamoe is currently $2.50 on PlayUp and $2.60 on Unibet to win the Guineas.

I strongly suggest to bet with Unibet for the Caulfield Guineas because not only do you get slightly better odds for the favourite, you also receive a free matched bet up to $200 when you bet for the first time.

Artorius is already destined to stand at Newgate. The syndicate purchased a majority interest in him after his astonishing Blue Diamond victory. He was simply awesome in Melbourne’s premier 2YO event. Swamping them at the finish with a breathtaking turn of foot. He showed he is back to his best with a slashing trial in the Golden Rose at Rosehill. Artorius is by Flying Artie from Redoute’s Choice mare Gracie’s Lass.

1978 US Triple Crown

Personally, I was captivated by the epic rivalry taking place on the other side of the world. I was 16 and already a life-long devotee of classic thoroughbred horse racing. Glued to the television on each Sunday morning of this incredible Triple Crown series. No such thing as the internet and no way, other than direct telecast, to witness world horse racing. I’m not even sure if there were VCR machines in those days. The only way to record it was to use a cassette player situated next to the TV speaker. But those races were truly incredible and inspiring.

The 1978 Triple Crown series was the most memorable of all time, Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby by 1 ½ lengths. It was the widest winning margin of the 3 legs. He prevailed by a neck in the Preakness and by a head in the Belmont. The latter is widely recognized as the most heroic two horse contest in the history of world sport. The two great colts went neck and neck from the back straight all the way to the line. Affirmed appearing to be headed in the straight but bravely fought back to win.

It was a race for the ages. The two-horse war evokes thoughts of Bonecrusher and Our Waverley Star in the 1986 Cox Plate. One can only imagine what superlatives would have been uttered by esteemed racecaller Bill Collins. If he had called the Belmont Stakes of 1978. Affirmed and Alydar together, racing into equine immortality.

Past winners

The Caulfield Guineas is the premier 3YO mile race in Australia. Equivalent to the 2000 Guineas at the historic Newmarket racecourse. A race steeped in tradition and often won by the champion of the generation. Redoute’s Choice, Lonhro, All Too Hard, Show A Heart and more recently The Autumn Sun and OIe Kirk. Great fillies have won the race including champions Surround, Dual Choice and Storm Queen. 

Golden era

Will Artorius and Anamoe commence a rivalry that even partly approaches that of Affirmed and Alydar? If so, Australian race fans are in for a golden era of horse racing.

2021 Caulfield Guineas result

The race turned out a little complicated. Unfortunately, Artorius blew his chances by jumping slowly out of the barriers and settled 3rd last on the rails. It’s not unusual for him to begin slowly but this time he missed it by two lengths. From that moment, he had too much to do. In contrast, Anamoe started well and settled a little further back than midfield. Racing 3-wide, he enjoyed a good trail behind some other horses and was well positioned to pounce.

Last season’s G1 Champagne Stakes winner Captivant, with Anamoe on his heels, hit the lead in the straight. Captivant fought bravely but Anamoe kept surging. The Godolphin colt eventually overpowering Captivant on the line. Meanwhile, Artorius had moved around the field and fought his way into a clear position but was too far back. He made up ground in the straight and really started to gather the leaders in the last 100m but the gap was too wide to make up. It was a slashing run from the horse. It would have been interesting if not for the slow start. While the winner Anamoe was super in victory, Artorius will be hard to beat next time.

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