Trainer Lee Freedman expects last start flop Santa Ana Lane to bounce back to his best form and deliver the goods in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Santa Ana Lane was sent out as the $4.60 second favourite but miss ed a place when fifth to Lake Como in the $100,000 Bruce Gadsden Handicap (1000m) down the Flemington straight on June 10 but Freedman said that the four year old is back to his best for the weight for age sprint this weekend.
“He’s in great nick. I think he’s in as good a form as he was in May when he won the Town Plate (at Wagga) and ran that great race in The Goodwood,” Freedman told racing.com.
“He had a little setback after that last race he ran at Flemington (in June).”
“It was nothing major but just held him up and probably did him the world of good as he’s nice and bright for this race – he’s trialled well.
“Weight for age might be a new thing for him but his run in The Goodwood says he’s probably well up to that grade.
Freedman, who trains in partnership with his brother Anthony, said that Santa Ana Lane was not that comfortable running down the Flemington straight and would be better suited at Caulfield with a bit more speed in the race.
“He’s probably not really a straight horse but having said that, he didn’t get the race run to suit (at Flemington),” Freedman said.
“He did get to the outside but it was very slowly run up in front and it made it impossible for horses coming from off the back to win. He’s much better suited when there is speed on in his races and he tends to get that more around a corner.”
Santa Ana Lane has been raced sparingly through the Autumn months with five runs since the middle of March which includes a win in the $110,000 XXXX Gold Wagga Town Plate (1200m) at Wagga on May 4 and Freedman is expecting the four year old’s race fitness to help his chances against the horses that are at the beginning their early spring campaigns.
“We’ll probably capitalise on his winter fitness early in the spring and given that it’s looking fairly dry at the moment, there are some early spring targets that will suit him and he’ll have that fitness advantage on the horses coming back,” Freedman said.
Santa Ana Lane is listed at $10 on Friday for the Bletchingly Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Mick Kent trained Supido as the $3.40 favourite just ahead of the top rated Lankan Rupee at $4.80.
Supido is coming off a first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 PFD Food Services Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on July 15 while the Mick Price trained Lankan Rupee is resuming after a long break away from the race track, not having raced since finishing fourth to Malaguerra in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on the last day of the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival.