Punter’s threw their lot behind last year’s winner Vega Magic in Saturday’s $1,000,000 Group 1 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville but it was another son of Lope De Vega (IRE) who stole the show.
Fifth in the race last year, the Anthony Freedman-trained Santa Ana Lane had plenty to do when the capacity field turned for home.
After searching to get Santa Ana Lane to the outside, Ben Mellham had his hand forced and when he switched back to the inside it was clear sailing.
The 5yo gelding flashed home to defeat Missrock by a length, the second successive year the daughter of Fastnet Rock has finished runner-up, with a further neck to three-year-old filly I’ll Have A Bit (Smart Missile) who proved her shock win in the Euclase Stakes was no fluke.
Fastnet Rock featured in the pedigree of the first three across the line. The winner is out of a Fastnet Rock mare, the runner-up is by the Coolmore Champion and the third placed is a daughter of the Fastnet Rock stallion Smart Missile.
It was the third win in the Goodwood for Melham after Platelet in 2013 and Smokin’ Joey in 2014.
“It’s my third Goodwood, I’ve had good luck in the race and I enjoy coming here,” Melham told Racing.com.
“The horse put the writing on the wall the other day (D.C. McKay Stakes) where he ran really well after being held up until late.
“If he came here today and produced the same turn of foot he was always going to be competitive.
“But they just burned him out of the barrier, he was out the back and he didn’t go early so I just had to bide my time.
“I was going to come wide but it was going to be a hassle to do so and I would’ve been covering a lot of ground so when it opened up on the inside I was more than happy to switch back there.
“He let go with a good turn of foot and he was too good.”
It was the second Group 1 for Santa Ana Lane following the Rupert Clarke Stakes last October.
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 6 wins, 1 second and 5 starts from 26 starts with earnings of $1,280,820.
Bred by Patinack Farm, 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 named Black Tide 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 missed to Dubawi’s English 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder (IRE) in 2016 and was covered by Tapit’s triple Grade 1 winner Frosted last spring.
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