Comeback king Jim Byrne is confident he can...
It didn’t take long for Santa Ana Lane to return to the winners circle.
Anthony Freedman’s promising six year-old added another victory to his impressive resume, capturing a win in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
In a strong field comprising of multiple Group 1 winners, jockey Ben Melham clung to the rails in the prelude to October’s $10 million The Everest (1200m), racing alongside Redzel to establish position along the fence.
Santa Ana Lane looked to have run out of gas with 200m to go, but still had enough to set a new Premiere Stakes track record of 1.07.45 seconds thanks to a strong southerly tail wind.
“He’s in fantastic order this horse,” Melham told Sky Racing after the race.
“He’s really come into his own this preparation and we’re really happy with him coming into it, his works been great, he looks great.”
After running fifth in the Group 3 Moniek and Susanne Sambor Heath (1100m) nearly a month ago, the win has seen Santa Ana Lane firm from $13.00 into $6.00 ahead of The Everest with Ladbrokes, while third place-getter (and fellow stablemate) Shoals has also drawn in from $15.00 into $7.00.
Meanwhile, former favourite Redzel has drifted from $5.00 out to $7.00 alongside second-place getter In Her Time.
“They went pretty quick, I was always wanting to ride him quiet,” Melham claimed after the race.
“Ride him for luck, and ride off the fence straightening, and I knew what a great turn of foot he has when the right set of circumstances present themselves, which they did today and he was terrific.”
The duo of Santa Ana Lane and Shoals provided the Freedman stable with six combined Group 1 victories last year, and it appears the pair are on yet another warpath as they head toward’s October and November.
All up, Saturday’s win marked the eighth of Santa Ana Lane’s career, and with a nomination in November’s Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) as well as The Everest, expect this horse to be a heavy favourite in every market going forward.
Full Everest Odds can be seen below.
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