Santa Ana Lane will be trying to secure a rare feat when he returns to Adelaide aiming to win The Goodwood for a second time at Morphettville.
The Anthony Freedman-trained gelding won the Group One Goodwood (1200m) two years ago and would become the first horse in more than 100 years to win it twice if successful on Saturday.
Only two horses have won the Goodwood more than once, with Musket Belle the most recent in 1911 and 1912.
The Goodwood is no longer a handicap, with the conditions changing to set weights plus penalties in 2007.
A five-time Group One winner, Santa Ana Lane has not won since his dominant victory in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in April last year. He finished second in his defence of that race behind Nature Strip last month.
Santa Ana Lane failed to fire when unplaced at his most recent start in the All-Aged Stakes at Randwick on April 18 but Freedman’s racing manager Brad Taylor says racing fans don’t have to look too far back to see the gelding is still a force to be reckoned with.
“Everyone is saying he’s not going as well. Two starts ago he was running down Nature Strip who’s probably now the best sprinter in the world,” Taylor said.
“Last start he probably didn’t get all the favours and he probably didn’t have his best day on the track either, but horses can do that.
“If people put a line through last start and go back to two starts ago when he was running second in the TJ Smith, that’s going to make him awfully hard to beat in a race like this.”
Taylor said Santa Ana Lane was in good order after having a soft jump-out at Flemington on Friday to keep him ticking over.
He was $6.50 third favourite in an all-in market on Sunday, with this season’s Group One Lightning Stakes winner Gytrash $3.20 favourite.
Gytrash was a dominant winner of the Irwin Stakes on his home track at Morphettville last start.
“Gytrash has got very good form and was very impressive the other day,” Taylor said.
“It’s set weights plus penalties and he’s got to carry a similar weight to Santa. We meet him in his backyard but Santa has been there and done that in the race and hopefully he can do that again.”
Santa Ana Lane’s stablemate Lyre is also scheduled to run, with the three-year-old filly coming off a second in the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes last Saturday week.
“She’s come through her second in really good order,” Taylor said.
“The blinkers had a positive effect on her.
“She will run well as well.”