Jaameh nets Hayes a consolation victory
DAVID Hayes, trainer of Jaameh, is convinced his tough stayer would have been a top-five finisher in the Melbourne Cup.
“I’m not saying he would have won the Cup but taking a line through A Prince Of Arran, I’m sure he would have been in the first five,’’ he said.
“This horse is a true stayer as you saw today. I had given up but I’m glad my horse didn’t!”
Jaameh fought back after being headed in the straight to win the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).
In one of the most exciting finishes of the carnival, Jaameh ($3.30 favourite) outstayed Sully ($10) to win by a half head with Libran ($8) two lengths away third.
Hayes said he thought Jaameh was going to run another close placing when Sully
sprinted past with 100m to go.
“I began to look away but (son) Ben started cheering and I realised our horse was rallying — that is what he does, he’s such a strong stayer,’’ the trainer said.
Jaameh had finished second in the Bart Cummings, beaten narrowly by Avilius, then ran third in the Lexus Stakes which meant he missed out on a start in the Melbourne Cup.
The Lexus winner, A Prince Of Arran, was third to Cross Counter in the big one last Tuesday.
Winning rider Mark Zahra said Sully got almost a length in front of Jaameh.
“I saved ground the whole way and I was lucky that it opened up for me on the inside,’’ Zahra said. “Sully went out and I went in. I reckon he had a length on me.’’
TRAINER Anthony Freedman was left wondering what might have been after Santa Ana Lane scored a spectacular win against a crack sprint field at Flemington yesterday.
Santa Ana Lane was bolting behind a wall of horses before jockey Mark Zahra found a gap and he burst through to win the Group 1 $1 million VRC Sprint Classic (1200m).
Freedman said it was “nice consolation for The Everest”, where Santa Ana Lane was inconvenienced by a wet track and ran sixth behind Redzel in the world’s richest turf race last month.
“It was a shame the rain came in Sydney and it didn’t pan out for him in The Everest,’’ Freedman said. “I thought he was spot on for Sydney, he just didn’t get his chance there.’’
But Santa Ana Lane ($10) demonstrated once again that he is one of the nation’s elite sprinters when he scored his fourth Group 1 win, beating a gallant In Her Time ($12) by a neck with Pierata ($7) and Jungle Cat ($26) dead-heating for third, 1½ lengths away.
Dual Everest champ Redzel was sensationally backed into $2.90 favouritism but appeared to have every chance before fading for fifth.
Freedman put the Everest loss behind him and decided to set Santa Ana Lane for the VRC Sprint Classic.
“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,’’ Freedman said.
“But Mark rode him really well and it all opened up for him. He was very strong late. There’s only one way to ride him and whenever he wins, he’s going to win very late.
“I told Mark that. I said ‘don’t panic’. I told him ‘you know you’re only going to win in the last 50m’ and that’s what happened.’’
In Her Time’s trainer Kris Lees and jockey Corey Brown know how Freedman was thinking after The Everest as both men felt yesterday’s race was the one that got away.
Mark Zahra drives Jaameh to the line.
Mark Zahra rides Santa Ana Lane to victory at Flemington. Picture: Getty