Santa Ana Lane has finished out of the placings in a trial at Cranbourne on heavy ground but has done enough to show he is on target for The Everest.
Making his first public appearance since finishing fourth in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong on April 28, the Anthony Freedman-trained Santa Ana Lane finished fourth under Mark Zahra in Monday’s 800m-heat.
Usually below par at his first trial, Santa Ana Lane impressed assistant trainer Sam Freedman with Monday’s effort as he begins a campaign aimed at the $14 million Everest at Randwick on October 19 for which he is favourite.
“Mark’s never trialled him and his first trial in a preparation can be a little lazy, but Mark let him find his feet and work to the line under his own steam,” Freedman said.
“He’s not really comfortable in that really heavy ground but at the same time Mark said he wanted to let rip so he seems to have come back really well.”
Freedman said Santa Ana Lane would have another trial in two weeks, but was unsure whether that would again be at Cranbourne or in Sydney.
He said Santa Ana Lane would follow a similar program as he did before winning the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.
Santa Ana Lane’s comeback run is likely to be in The Shorts at Randwick on September 21.
“He’s likely to have just the one run before The Everest with maybe a trial in between,” Freedman said.
“It’s a similar program we followed into the TJ Smith.”
Stablemate Aloisia finished third wearing blinkers in an earlier 990m-trial and may return in the Group One Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on August 31 or in a 1400m mares’ race the same day.
“She was a lot sharper today,” Freedman said.
“She’s quite a relaxed mare, a good doing mare, that takes a bit of work and spends quite a bit of time in the pool and hopefully we can get a nice win from her.”
Freedman’s Melbourne Cup 2019 contender Steel Prince finished seventh in his trial over 1190m under Damien Oliver.
Freedman said the stayer was not suited in the conditions but he thought he trialled well.
“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 runs before the Melbourne Cup.
“It’s really exciting for the stable and the staff to have a Cup runner.”
Steel Prince gained an automatic berth in the 2019 Melbourne Cup with his win in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes in May.