26 November 2016

FORMER beer salesman Chris Anderson fought back tears on Saturday as he told how he had gone from a racing nobody to celebrating his first Listed race winner.

Anderson's star mare Elegant Composure returned in sensational fashion and skittled her rivals in the $100,000 Colin McAlpine Classic to send the young trainer into raptures at Eagle Farm.

Anderson is known as one of the good guys of the Brisbane racing scene and there is no more hardworking trainer.

He built his business from virtually nothing, starting as a trainer only five years ago with one leased horse.

Before that he had worked as a beer brand manager.

"I know this is only a Listed race but it's my first one, it is a massive stepping stone for my career and I am just so thankful to everyone who has supported me" Anderson said.

"I am a bit numb at the moment. I have worked so hard for this. I came from obscurity as a trainer and I have to thank all the owners who took a chance on me."

Elegant Composure was making her comeback to the racetrack and was ridden by comeback jockey Larry Cassidy, who had an extended period on the sidelines battling serious knee injuries.

They proved the perfect combination as the mare, who has now won seven from nine starts, sat just off the speed and put paid to her rivals in blistering fashion in the Listed Colin McAlpine Memorial Classic (1200m).

Anderson was quick to pay tribute to his young family ? wife Emily, twin 10-year-old daughters Millicent and Isabella and eight-year-old son Angus.

"My family have been such a huge support to me and I simply couldn?t have done this without them" Anderson said.

"The plan today was for Elegant Composure to sit behind the speed from the good barrier and have one crack at them. The plan worked out even better than I could have hoped."

Cassidy is back with a bang after a period where he feared he would never ride again.

At one stage he contemplated becoming a steward but his passion for race riding never really left him.

During his extended injury stint, Cassidy admired the job Anderson was doing his horses.

"I first rode for Chris a couple of years ago. When I was injured I always watched his horses and kept a good eye on how he was going" Cassidy said.

"Two weeks ago Chris said to me he was having such a run of seconds and thirds, I said "Don't worry mate, it will all turn around. In the last few days I have ridden three winners for him.

"Elegant Composure was going so well today that I was waiting for the other horses to catch up before I pressed the go-button. The run at the end of her last preparation showed she was up to this class."

Source: Ben Dorries, Courier Mail