Santa Delivers Another Strong Everest Pointer

By Ray Hickson

Things will start to get serious for The TAB Everest favourite Santa Ana Lane now he’s completed his second trial in his build up to Australia’s richest race.

TAB Everest favourite Santa Ana Lane (Pic: Bradley Photos).

Santa Ana Lane finished third in a 900m trial at Cranbourne on Monday on a very heavy track and Sam Freedman, stable rep for his father Anthony, said he’s on track to resume in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on September 21.

“The ground was pretty heavy again but we opted to give him the hit out,’’ Freedman said.

“He did it under his own steam and Mark Zahra was really happy, he’s had a good blow and he’s needed a nice hit out.

“He seems to have come through the trial well immediately after.’’

The seven-year-old was selected by TAB to run in its Everest slot and he’s the $5 favourite in a market that will see plenty of change from this Saturday.

That’s when dual Everest champ Redzel kicks off his campaign for a threepeat in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick against Sunlight and Pierata, both confirmed Everest runners, and the likes of Nature Strip, Graff and Zoustyle who will all press for consideration for the remaining slots.

“It looks like a really good race,’’ Freedman said.

“We’re just worrying about our horse but it will be a good contest to watch. We’re really happy with our horse, we’re just dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s at the moment.’’

Santa Ana Lane won’t arrive in Sydney until the week of The Shorts and Freedman said his preparation has so far been trouble free.

The heavy ground the gelding has been trialling on is far from his preferred surface so his connections are hoping the Randwick surface will be rated good as it was for the inaugural running.

“He gets through it okay, he’s on a different plane to when he’s on a firm surface,’’ he said.

“He’ll hopefully get a dry track in The Everest and we’ll see the best of him.

“We’re taking him along nice and easy and now he’s had his second hit-out we’ll start to step up his work a little bit.

“He won’t be screwed down for The Shorts but it’ll be good to get up to Sydney and that will bring him on as well.’’

Chris Waller’s two TAB Everest runners, Perth mares Arcadia Queen and Enticing Star, pleased in their second trials at Canterbury on Monday.

Enticing Star wins a trial at Canterbury on Monday

Arcadia Queen ran third behind Ready To Prophet, beaten 1.4 lengths, in 54.27 for the 900m while Enticing Star won her heat over the same trip in 54.63.

Godolphin’s Group 1 winner Trekking finished about a half length behind Enticing Star in third place.

Waller said at Rosehill on Saturday that one or both of the Bob Peters-owned mares will kick off on their new home track on September 14.

The Group 2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) for mares and the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) are the options on that day or he could send one to The Shorts (1100m) a week later.

“We’ll try to find the right race and separate them as well as other horses,’’ he said.