Rising three year old filly Anchor Bid has thrown out a warming temptation to trainer Darren Weir to pencil her in for a start in the Group 1 $1m VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Anchor Bid put in an outstanding performance to secure her maiden win in the 1800m Byerley Handicap for the two year olds at Flemington last Saturday and Weir was very impressed with what he saw.
“I’ve never had a three-year-old filly like this one. I haven’t had a good staying prospect like this one for a long time,” Weir told racing.com.
Weir was set to saddle up the favourite for the 2016 Crown Oaks after Tiamo Grace won the Group 2 $300,000 Mumm Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 29 but decided against it after the filly took longer than expected to recover from the run.
The lightly raced Anchor Bid was only having her fourth race start when she overcame an interrupted run in the straight before recording a two and a half lengths victory over Justice Faith and Weir already rates the High Chaparral filly better than Tiamo Grace at the same stage of their careers.
“I would have thought this’d be a better horse than Tiamo Grace at the same stage,” Weir said.
Anchor Bid’s win helped jockey Craig Williams edge two wins clear of main rival apprentice Beau Mertens in the Melbourne Jockey’s Premiership race and the leading hoop is certain the filly will develop into a top Oaks prospect.
“She’s pretty good,” Williams said.
“No doubt they’ll do the right thing by the filly, if she’s ready to go she’s got the potential to be a good enough Oaks filly in the spring but if not there’s still plenty of Oaks races in the autumn.”
Weir has already indicated that he will send Anchor Bid to his new property at Maldon to freshen up and start preparing her for the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“She’ll go the farm and we’ll give her about three weeks on the water walker,” Weir said.
“It’ll be great for her. Gallic Chieftain just had three weeks there and he came back absolutely bouncing, so this’d be the second we try I reckon.”
Williams’ two wins at Flemington last Saturday has him on seventy-four metropolitan wins for the 2016 – 2017 season, two ahead of Mertens and with only two meetings left in the current season, Williams is in the box seat to take out his sixth Melbourne Jockey’s title and has firmed into $1.25 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Weir is in no danger of losing the trainer’s title which he has held for the last three years with one hundred and thirty-four metropolitan winners for the season to date, well clear of his nearest rivals, the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig on one hundred and nine wins.