Santa Ana Lane had made 16 starts in stakes races since capturing the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes in February last year and the only trophy for the cabinet case in that time would have been for attendance.
But the stars aligned for son of Lope de Vega (IRE) in Sunday’s $500,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield with Dean Yendall coming with a well-timed ride on the Anthony Freedman-trained gelding to overpower his better-fancied stablemate Mr Sneaky.
With the heavily-backed Theanswermyfriend and Attention going like Oakleigh Plater, the race was set up for a swooper and it was the $24 shot Santa Ana Lane who finished the best.
He defeated Mr Sneaky by three-quarters of a length with So Si Bon another length and a quarter back in third
“It is a great thrill and a credit to the team,” Freedman said.
“Like any stable you can’t do it without them.
“The owners have let me plot a course and it has worked out.
“I thought he was a bit unlucky at The Valley the other day and his form in the last six months has been really solid, reliable and consistent.
“He was always one of those horses that if he got into one of these races and things went his way, which it did today, could win one.
“With Lee going I lost a few horses and I except that, so these days and results like that put you name back there and people go he might be able to go alright.”
Freedman said he was unsure if he would press on to the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield in a fortnight.
“I don’t know if he is a genuine miler,” Freedman said.
“Running that time today is going to hurt a bit on hard ground, I’ll send them home tomorrow back to Pinecliff and he will have a very quiet week, do a bit of beach, and see how he comes back.”
An $80,000 purchase by Randwick Bloodstock agency from the Rosemont Stud draft at the 2014 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Santa Ana Lane advances his record to 5 wins, 1 second and 4 starts from 22 starts with earnings of $613,700.
He is the second foal of the winning Fastnet Rock mare Fast Fleet a three-quarter sister to the stakes-placed Strategy (Danehill) and a half-sister to Group III Waikato Guineas winner Blimey O’Reilly (O’Reilly) and Listed winner Flag Officer (Excites).
Fast Fleet has a 2yo filly by Kuroshio who was purchased by Proven thoroughbred/Steven O’Dea Racing for $60,000 at the Inglis Premier Yearling sale, and a yearling filly by Toorak Toff. She was covered by Dubawi’s English 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder (IRE) last spring.
Former shuttler Lope De Vega (IRE) has enjoyed a sensation run of late with Group 1 Memsie Stakes winner Vega Magic, dual Listed winner Lope de Capio and the Canadian Group 1 Natalma Stakes winner Capla Temptress leading the way.
Copy Breednet, Image Racing Photos.