Freedman pair show their Everest potential
SANTA Ana Lane and Shoals have provided trainer Anthony Freedman with a powerful one-two punch for the $13 million The Everest, running the quinella in the Group 2 $500,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
In a race that was billed as a "mini-Everest" showdown, the Freedman duo delivered a knockout blow to the best sprinters in training.
The Premiere produced a thrilling finish with Santa Ana Lane surging powerfully along the inside to claim a last-stride win.
"I knew Santa Ana Lane would run very well,'' Anthony Freedman said.
"He has been fantastic at home and I knew where he was turning for home he would be very strong late.''
Santa Ana Lane ($10) arrived just in time to win the Premiere by head from his fast finishing stablemate Shoals ($8.50) with a brave In Her Time ($5.50) a nose away third. The winning time was a staggering 1min 7.45sec, a new Randwick 1200m track record.
Trapeze Artist ran on well to finish fourth, one-and-half lengths from the winner while early leader and reigning Everest champ Redzel was fifth, beaten two lengths.
The other Everest runner, Invincible Star, tired to run seventh, nearly five lengths behind Santa Ana Lane.
The Premiere result resulted in a major revamp of Everest betting with Santa Ana Lane promoted by Ladbrokes to $6 favouritism ahead of Vega Magic, In Her Time, Trapeze Artist and Shoals all on $7.
Redzel had been the Everest favourite before his unplaced effort.
Freedman described the fast finishing effort of Shoals as "great" but thought the track might have been a little firm for the mare.
"They are running ridiculous times so that tells me the track is a bit firm,'' Freedman said.
"Some rain would be great or maybe a bit more water for The Everest.
"There is a little bit of improvement there in both horses so hopefully we can turn up in two weeks in the same nick as today.''
In Her Time was resuming and ran a blinder to be beaten in a tight three-way finish.
"That was a super run," said Kris Lees, trainer of In Her Time.
"She was always going to be vulnerable over 1200m first-up. I would have preferred to kick her off over 1100m, but she's going to take a lot of improvement out of that ahead of The Everest."
The riders of Redzel and Trapeze Artist both feel their sprinters can make the necessary improvement for The Everest on October 13.
"I thought Redzel came back underneath me from the half mile but he was left wanting the last furlong,'' jockey Kerrin McEvoy said. "With that out of his system he going to spot on for the Everest."
Tye Angland said Trapeze Artist has a "good blow" after the race.
"His form says can labour a bit second up and then improve a lot third up,'' Angland said.
Invincible Star struggled form the turn and beat only Music Magnate to the line but jockey Stephen Baster also believes the mare can still be a factor in The Everest.
"She only went OK today,'' Baster said. "It wasn't her grand final. Fingers crossed she can bounce back in two weeks."