Anthony Freedman’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Santa Ana Lane is westward bound this summer heading over to Perth for the Group 1 $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on December 2.
The Lope De Vega entire posted his first win since May scoring an upset at $18 odds on October 1 in Caulfield’s Group 1 $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
Mornington-based horseman Freedman is now keen to target the lucrative prize money on offer during the Perth Summer Racing Carnival with the Winterbottom Stakes on the agenda for a fresh Santa Ana Lane.
On Wednesday morning the five-year-old middle distance sprinter enjoyed a strong Balnarring jumpout with Dean Yendall in the saddle ahead of his flight to Perth scheduled for Sunday.
Freedman is confident that the time between runs will see Santa Ana Lane run a competitive race over the 1200m in the Winterbottom Stakes, a race won last year by Sydney visitor Takedown.
“He had a couple of weeks on the water walker, he pretty much stayed in work the whole time,” Freedman told Racing Victoria on Wednesday.
“He has freshened up really well, he has had one gallop, he had a trial today and he is ready to go, he flies out Sunday, he doesn’t run for a couple of weeks but we are happy with where he is at.”
Yendall will retain the ride in the Winterbottom Stakes field heading over to W.A. for the ride on Santa Ana Lane and was impressed with the horse’s midweek workout.
“He is well and fresh and full of himself after a little let-up,” Yendall said.
“He galloped good, he wanted to do a few things wrong just being fresh and keen.
“But he is feeling well, which is the main thing and he took a bit to pull up.”
Futures Winterbottom Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au currently has Santa Ana Lane quoted at $10.
Those all-in markets are dominated by the James Cummings-trained Godolphin galloper Impending, the four-year-old son of Lonhro running a brave third to Redzel in last Saturday’s Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight.
The Darley Classic produced Buffering (4th in 2015) for his second Winterbottom Stakes success as an eight-year-old two years ago.
Buffering also won the Perth feature on 2013 as the short-prided favourite on the back of a Darley Classic win that spring.
The best fancied of the local Perth sprinters to take out this summer’s Winterbottom Stakes is Nicconi five-year-old State Solicitor, a winner of three of his five Ascot starts.
State Solicitor is prepared by Grant Williams and former jockey Alana Williams who rode Fair Alert to victory in the 2001 Winterbottom Stakes.