Santa Ana Lane to start Everest build-upMonday 17 June 2019
Star sprinter Santa Ana Lane's build-up to another crack at The Everest is about to begin, with connections looking to make amends for his unplaced run in the rich race last year.
The multiple Group One-winner was dominant winning the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in April at Randwick before heading to Hong Kong where he ran for fourth in the Group One Chairman's Sprint Prize on April 28.
After completing quarantine, the Anthony Freedman-trained gelding has had another couple of weeks in the spelling paddock.
"Santa Ana Lane and (Andrew Ramsden Stakes winner) Steel Prince are coming back into the stable today," assistant trainer Sam Freedman said on Monday.
Freedman said they were still to map out Santa Ana Lane's program into The Everest (1200m), with the $14 million race on October 19 likely to be either the second or third run of his preparation.
"He has had two weeks out of quarantine now where we just left him alone in the paddock and he looks really well," he said.
"He's always done well and we'll just take him along slowly and really make sure we've got him cherry ripe for his campaign.
"I think the good thing is there's no real rush. His target race isn't until October."
Santa Ana Lane won the Premiere Stakes and VRC Sprint Classic either side of finishing sixth on a heavy track in last year's Everest, won by Redzel who dominated the race.
The world's highest-rated sprinter so far this year courtesy of his TJ Smith win, Santa Ana Lane has secured the TAB's slot for the 2019 Everest.
"The race was really over from the start with him last year," Freedman said.
"Not to say he didn't handle the track that well, I think they just went so steady and nothing that was back in the field got any opportunity to run on.
"He probably ran as well as he could in the circumstances that day and we're really looking forward to try and get some redemption with him. He would certainly be a worthy winner if he could get it done this year and we're pretty excited to see him having another crack at it."
A number of spring hopefuls from the stable, including Blue Diamond Stakes winner Lyre, are back in work and Group One winner Aloisia has also joined the team after being bought by Nick Wakim's Hilldene Farm at the Chairman's Sale last month.
"She will have a spring campaign before heading off to the breeding barn this season or maybe she stays in training for another year," Freedman said.