Connections of Santa Ana Lane consider the five year old to be extremely well weighted as he prepares to line up in the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
The Anthony Freedman trained Santa Ana Lane drops 3kg to 55.5kg for the Stradbrokes Handicap after carrying 58.5kg to victory in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 19.
“The first target was The Goodwood but we always left a little bit in the tank if he ran well there to go up to the Stradbroke,” Freedman’s racing manager Brad Taylor told AAP.
“We thought he’d get in well at the weights which he does with 55.5kg. He drops 3kg so he gets in beautifully at the weights.
“It’s definitely not an afterthought.”
Taylor said that Santa Ana Lane has travelled to Queensland in great shape and is in line to claim his his third Group 1 win of the 2017-2018 season after winning the Group 1 $500,000 Keno Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“He went into the Gold Coast on Tuesday morning and had a gallop and we’re really pleased with him. He’s spot-on for Saturday,” Taylor said.
Santa Ana Lane weaved his way through the pack from near the tail of the field to record a one and a quarter lengths win over Missrock but Taylor is thinking that Ben Melham might be able to settle a bit closer to the speed from barrier three in the sixteen horse Stradbroke Handicap field.
“He might be able to position up a little bit closer from there, rather than being well back last,” Taylor said.
“The first reaction is it’s pretty good.”
“With a bit of luck in running he’s going to certainly be a chance and hopefully he can become a three-time Group One winner this season.”
Despite drawing a nice barrier and dropping 3kg on his last start Goodwood win, Santa Ana Lane is at the double figure odds of $14 for the Stradbroke Handicap with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the three year old filly Champagne Cuddles as the $4.20 favourite.
QRIC Stewards have granted jockey Corey Brown permission to ride Champagne Cuddles 0.5kg over her original handicapped weight at 50kg and the Bjorn Baker trained filly will now carry 50.5kg.
Champagne Cuddles cemented her spot at the top of the Stradbroke Handicap market order with a slashing third last start behind Impending and Le Romain in the Group 1 $700,000 Altus Traffic Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben a fortnight ago.