Trainer Darren Weir is hoping that Anlon can produce an improved effort when he chases back-to-back wins in the 2015 Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington tomorrow.
Anlon received some betting support when he returned to racing in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Sandown on Boxing Day, but he was forced to settle more than ten lengths behind the leaders in the early stages of the race and could only get past one horse when asked for an extra effort by jockey Brad Rawiller in the straight.
Weir told Racing Ahead that he can’t explain the poor first-up performance of Anlon, but he has been happy with the work of the Stratum gelding in the lead-up to the Chester Manifold Stakes and remains hopeful that the six-year-old can return to a semblance of his best form.
“I thought that he was going into his first-up run, but he ran terrible really,” Weir said.
“He has galloped well again since and hopefully we can just put his first-up run behind him and get back on track tomorrow.
“I have no excuses going into it tomorrow from my end, but if you went on his first-up run you couldn’t have him at all.”
Anlon has generally been ridden as a backmarker throughout his racing career to date and Weir said that he will be advising jockey Damien Lane to settle the Listed winner towards the early stages of the race.
Weir revealed that Anlon suffers from a minor breathing problem and believes that the gelding is only able to perform at his best if he is able to settle into a rhythm when he jumps from the barriers.
“He has got to do that and he has got to get into a rhythm and obviously not be on the bridle because he has a little wind problem,” Weir said.
“When he relaxes and breathes properly he normally runs pretty well and you will know early how he is going to go against.”
Anlon stamped himself as a potential Stakes horse when he took out both the George Watson Handicap (1400m) and Chester Manifold Stakes during a successful summer campaign last year, but he was unable to replicate that form during the winter and was sent to the spelling paddock after finishing tenth in a heat of the VRC Winter Championship (1410m) at Flemington.
Anlon is currently available at 2015 Chester Manifold Stakes odds of $17, while Red Excitement ($3.80) is a clear favourite from Tried And Tired ($5), Boristar ($7) and Reparations ($7).