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

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