Gilgai Stakes Winner Sunlight Steals the Show Ahead of The Everest 2019

October 5, 2019

Gilgai Stakes Winner Sunlight Steals the Show Ahead of The Everest 2019

The market was bang on at Flemington on Saturday as a thrilling edition of this years Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) boiled down to talented speedsters Sunlight and Santa Ana Lane.

With the $14 million The Everest only a fortnight away, the Gilgai Stakes presented a perfect opportunity to scout two of this year’s slot holders.

Sunlight went on to win the race in impressive fashion as the favourite after establishing a dominant position on the rails. This year’s Group 1 Newmarket Handicap and William Reid Stakes winner was third-up on Saturday and showed every bit of the dazzling turn of foot we’ve come to expect from the three-year-old.

Santa Ana Lane, who ran sixth in last years Everest behind Redzel, also lost no admirers storming down the outside for second. Trainer Anthony Freedman was running out of time to get a first-up run into the seven-year-old, and although several questioned his winning chances, Santa Ana Lane once again silenced the doubters by racing from the back into the placings.

Sunlight and Santa Ana Lane went toe-to-toe at Flemington on Saturday in the leadup to The Everest. Photo Credit: Ultimate Racing Photos.

“Very happy with him. He’s done everything we wanted him to do and obviously dictated to by the way the tracks playing and the way the pace was in the race. We’re really happy, he got home strong, he had the hit out that he needed, he needed a nice hit out today and probably just peaked that last 100m and he had some improvement in him,” Sam Freedman said after the race.

Luke Currie rode brilliantly aboard Sunlight on Saturday as the pair shifted over to the fence at the 650m mark. Trainer Tony McEvoy said after the race that he was rapt with the result.

“She’s always there for you, it’s a great quality that she’s got. She was in the fight today with a big weight on her back and I though Luke was fabulous on her and she was incredible,” McEvoy said.

“To carry the weight she did against that champion (Santa Ana Lane) she just showed that she’s a force. She’s incredible, I wish I had more of her. When I bought her as a yearling, she had substance, and she’s really carried it through. We love her, she’s carried me through and she’s taking us to that exciting race.”

Santa Ana Lane remains the second-elect the All-In The Everest market at $6.00 through Ladbrokes.com.au, while Sunlight can be had on the third line of betting at $10.00.

2019 Gilgai Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 7 SUNLIGHT Tony & Calvin McEvoy Luke Currie 9 58kg $2.25F
2 1 SANTA ANA LANE Anthony Freedman Mark Zahra 0.5L 5 60kg $3.70
3 4 ZOUTORI Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra Damian Lane 0.7L 11 59kg $8.50
4 6 VITAL SILVER Daniel & Ben Pearce Ben Melham 2.2L 2 58.5kg $17
5 2 DOTHRAKI Peter & Paul Snowden Michael Walker 2.6L 3 59kg $31
5 11 NAANTALI (NZ) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Jamie Kah 2.6L 1 56kg $21
7 9 I AM EXCITED David Pfieffer John Allen 2.8L 4 57kg $21
8 5 TYZONE Toby & Trent Edmonds Craig Williams 3.3L 6 58.5kg $14
9 12 BELLA MARTINI Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Dwayne Dunn 3.4L 10 55kg $26
10 10 VAINSTREAM John Pascoe James Winks 9.4L 8 57kg $201
11 8 I AM SOMEONE Paul Preusker Jordan Childs 9.8L 7 58kg $51
3 HOME OF THE BRAVE (IRE) James Cummings Brad Rawiller 0

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