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Anfields Rocket packed too many guns for the opposition in the Grade 1 WSB SA Classic over 1800m at Turffontein Standside on Saturday (Candiese Lenferna).

Galileo/Sadler’s Wells Influence On SA Classic Result 

Hindsight is an exact science but some will rue missing out on the 25/2 offered about the Grade 1 WSB SA Classic winner, the Grant Maroun-trained Anfields Rocket.

There will be plenty of “I told you” racegoers out there too, because he had shortened into 17/2 by the off.
The naysayers were writing off this Coup De Grace gelding as a sprinter, because of his fine record over sprints.
Presumably the analysis of his staying on fifth from way off the pace in the Grade 2 WSB Gauteng Guineas in his previous start was of a horse who was held up into a hopeless position and then sprinted for home. 
This rhetoric must have influenced a few punters and pundits.
Those who like a flutter should always bear in mind the motto of the legendary Phil Bull, the founder of Timeform, “On the racecourse, keep your eyes open and your ears closed.”
A closer look at the Gauteng Guineas shows Raymond Danielson having little option other than to sit in last place, because of Anfields Rocket wide draw and his lack of early pace.
The Galileo in Anfields Rocket actually stood out in the Gauteng Guineas finish – here was a horse of substance scything through the centre and showing no signs of stopping.
He is out of the Galileo mare Milla’s Rocket, who won once in the UK over 1600m and finished second once in a one-mile-and-two-and-a-half furlongs event.   
In the SA Classic Anfields Rocket was now going over 1800m and had a plum draw of two.
He had 200m more to get into the race and was going to be closer to the pace from that draw.
Danielson, whose excellent rapport with horses enables him to quickly learn the best way to ride them, had also gathered that this horse needed to be left alone.
He had also always said to the connections after track work that the horse was looking for ground.
On Saturday, Raymond was able to get Anfields Rocket into a midfield position by driving him until the first turn, although he said that at that stage he felt like a horse who would more likely finish last than first. 
However, he had learnt from the 1000m sprint race he had ridden in him two races earlier that this horse was “a clever horse who just saved himself for the end.”
So, he then implemented his plan by just sitting on him all the way until beyond the 400m mark.
Anfields Rocket got stronger and stronger as the others began gasping for air.
Danielson got to work at the 300m and gave him a couple of backhanders close to home, but put the stick away as soon as he began shifting away from it.
Anfields Rocket’s resolute finish got him home by a length from Jimmy Don.
It left many wondering why they had mistaken Anfields Rocket for a sprinter.
The win gave the Hollywood Syndicate their second individual Grade 1 winner, and third Grade 1 win.
This trio of achievements have all happened in the space of three months.
And that is excluding their Grade 1-win over hurdles with the Irish-based Il Etait Temps, who will be running in the first race at the Cheltenham Festival next week, the Supreme Novices Hurdle.
Hollywood own the Grant Maroun-trained SA Classic winner Anfield’s Rocket outright as opposed to leasing their dual Brett Crawford-trained Grade 1 winner Make It Snappy.
However, all of their Grade 1 wins this season are sure to have been equally satisfying considering their highly fruitful relationship with the Kieswetter family, whose Ridgemont Highlands Stud farm bred and own Make It Snappy and whose Barnane Stud in Ireland own Il Etait Temps.
Hollywood’s ultimate goal of winning the owners’ championship looked to be a couple of seasons away back in November, because there was a lack of Grade 1 horses among their multitude of winners.
However, that has now all changed and having just been overtaken by Drakenstein Stud in the race for the owners championship, they have now wrested back the lead.
Considering the strength of Drakenstein’s top runners that is probably the equivalent of losing the Comrades lead to Bruce Fordyce at Kloof and then overtaking him down Fields Hill … knowing that there is still Cowies Hill to come.
Nevertheless, Hollywood have hope and led the championship on R9,055,813 to Drakenstein’s R8,597,200 by the close of play on Saturday, a gap of R458,613.
Hollywood bought Anfields Rocket after he had won the Grade 3 WSB Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m.
He was bred by Klawervlei Stud and is by Coup De Grace (Tapit), who did originally stand at Klawervlei but is now standing as a thoroughbred stallion in Namibia.
John Koster did the mating based on the good known cross of Tapit and Galileo. 
Galileo was also an influence on the third horse home in the SA Classic, the Alec Laird-trained Billy Bowlegs, who is by the Galileo sire The United States.
In fact a notable aspect to the result of the race was the influence of Galileo’s sire Sadler’s Wells. 
The runner up, the Erico Verdonese-trained Jimmy Don, and the fifth placed horse, the Nathan Kotzen-trained Royal Victory, are both by Pathfork, who is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare.
The fourth horse home, the Paul Matchett-trained Eye Of The Prophet, is out of a mare by the Sadler’s Wells stallion Fort Wood.
So, Sadler’s Wells was close up in the pedigrees of the first five home. 
Galileo himself has produced two Grade 1 winners in South Africa, the great Igugu and also Mahbooba.
Galileo’s son New Approach currently has an exciting stallion standing here, New Predator, who has had five runners and four winners.
There was at one stage a theory that Galileo’s progeny are not suited to Southern Hemisphere racing but it does not appear to apply to SA racing.