Slot Holder: TAB
Lope De Vega (IRE) – Fast Fleet
Trainer: Anthony Freedman
Owners: William St Synd
Regular jockey: Mark Zahra/Ben Melham
The world’s best sprinter Santa Ana Lane will run in the world’s richest race on turf, The TAB Everest.
It was just a matter of which slot holder Santa Ana Lane would be running for in 2019, with his placed all but assured after he demolished his rivals in the TJ Smith Stakes on Day 1 of The Championships over the Sydney autumn carnival. TAB beat the nine remaining slot holders still without a horse to the punch locking in the Anthony Freedman-trained star for October’s $14 million race at Royal Randwick.
The six-year-old ran sixth behind Redzel in last year’s edition of The TAB Everest, with the wet track to blame, so there’s unfinished business afoot for the gelding.
“We’re here for redemption, and hopefully he can put his best foot forward,” said assistant trainer Sam Freedman.
Since last year’s Everest, Santa Ana Lane has added two more Group Ones to his CV, winning not only the TJ Smith Stakes but also the VRC Classic, taking his tally to five. He was then given his chance to shine on the international stage in the Chairman’s Sprint in Hong Kong but he wasn’t suited by the slow tempo, running a very credible fourth.
Santa Ana Lane’s connections have elected to skip Royal Ascot in the UK in favour of another tilt at The TAB Everest.
“It was all new to us last year but having been there before it’s something we can (focus on) now we’ve got the slot.
“It’s a big thrill to team up with TAB who have been such a good supporter of the race.”