Anipa surprises in Cheshire Oaks
16/1 shot Anipa caused a minor surprise in this Season’s Cheshire Oaks, staying on nicely inside the final furlong to take the Listed contest for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni.
Varian’s charge, a daughter of the brilliant Sea The Stars, did not have much form credentials to back her up as she stepped up in class for the first time, but the Windsor handicap winner showed little respect for her more fancied rivals with a gutsy performance around the quirky track at Chester.
Having broken well from the stalls, Atzeni was quick to settle his mount in behind the front-running Secret Pursuit early, with warm 15/8 favourite Terrific held up in rear by jockey Joseph O’Brien. As the field turned for home it was obvious that the jolly would not be able to make up the ground on the leaders and having taken the lead at the furlong pole, Anipa kicked on to score by 1/2 length.
Secret Pursuit, under another classy ride by exciting youngster Oisin Murphy, held on for 2nd, with 5/2 shot Bright Approach back in third. The winner does not hold an entry for the Investec Oaks at Epsom and is not likely to be supplemented as a somewhat surprised Varian confirmed.
“She’s a good little filly and keeps on improving,” he said.
“On ratings, she had to step up on what she had done previously but I’m delighted she’s done so. I actually thought her price reflected her chance but it’s great that she’s gone on and won. At this stage we wouldn’t commit her to it.
“She seems to handle these quirky tracks though so we’ll see how she is when we get back home. I would think the Ribblesdale is the race to go for. Mr Bizakov (owner) is here and obviously I’ll have a discussion with him, but I think the Ribblesdale is the likelihood.
“I’d be surprise if she was supplemented at this stage, but we’ll have a discussion.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images
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