Rags to riches run for Santa
LATE bloomer Santa Ana Lane went from being one of the most underrated sprinters in the country to potentially one of the best in the world in less than 70 seconds at Flemington yesterday.
Not bad for a horse whose trainer, Anthony Freedman, has never really considered him a pure speed horse.
Having struggled to get around the “skating rink” of The Everest after the Sydney deluge a month ago, Santa Ana Lane took hold of the $1 million VRC Sprint Classic with a devastating finishing burst, leaving Redzel, a host of local contenders and five international raiders in his wake.
It was the horse’s fourth Group 1 success — third this year — providing what Freedman called “a nice consolation” for the trip to Sydney.
“It might have been the one that got away,” Freedman said of The Everest. “You never know we might be back there next year.
“I thought he was spot on for Sydney. He just didn’t get his chance there. This was not an afterthought, but we were always a bit dubious about him up the straight because he’d had a couple of failures.”
Santa Ana Lane ($10) nailed In Her Time ($12) in the shadows of the post after launching late, with Jungle Cat ($26) and Pierata ($7) deadheating for third.
Redzel, who started $2.90 favourite, couldn’t add back-toback VRC Sprints to his consecutive Everest wins, finishing in fifth place.
Asked where Santa Lane Ana fitted within the great sprinters the stable had trained, Freedman said: “It’s difficult to say, because he has come [good] late in his career.”