Santa still going as well as ever
ANTHONY Freedman plans to replicate his successful autumn blueprint this spring for The Everest-bound Santa Ana Lane.
Santa Ana Lane will tackle The Everest (1200m) second-up, four weeks after he resumes in The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 21 with a trial in between.
The sprinter was a sensational winner of the T.J. Smith Stakes in April, which was the second run of that campaign.
The five-time Group 1 winner is the $5 favourite for $14 million showpiece at Randwick.
Santa Ana Lane cruised through a Cranbourne trial over 800m on Monday with jockey Mark Zahra guiding him to fourth under a tight hold.
Sam Freedman, assistant to his trainer/father Anthony, said the effort indicated he was on track.
"He hit the line strongly," Freedman said.
"He wasn't out to have a tough one, just to have a look around. He gave Mark a good ride and he finished off well."
Santa Ana Lane completed four weeks quarantine after his luckless fourth in the Chairman's Sprint Prize in Hong Kong in April before spending another month in the paddock.
Freedman said the seven-year-old was showing no signs of slowing down.
"He seems to have come up just as he has in every other prep," he said.
"There's no reason to think he won't be in the same form he has been."
Freedman said the stable wasn't looking any further than The Everest just yet for last year's VRC Sprint Classic winner.
"That (VRC Sprint Classic) would certainly be an option third-up but we're just targeting The Everest at the moment and take it one step at a time," he said.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Cup contender Steel Prince finished seventh in his trial over 1190m with Damien Oliver on board, but wasn't suited by the Heavy 10 conditions.
"He was working home nicely towards the end and Ollie knows him quite well and was happy with the trial," Freedman said.
"He's likely to have three or four runs before the Melbourne Cup. It's really exciting for the stable and the staff to have a Cup runner."
Steel Prince, who gained automatic entry to the Cup by winning the 2800m Andrew Ramsden at Flemington in May, will resume in the 1700m Heatherlie Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday week.
Stablemate Alosia, who ran third in her 990m trial, is pencilled in to return on the same day in either the Group 1 Memsie Stakes or the 1400m mares race.
In other trial news, Group 1 winners Black Heart Bart, Humidor and Gailo Chop all won their respective heats.
Black Heart Bart and Humidor, winners of the past two Memsie Stakes, are now likely to head to that race.