Santa Ana Lane (Image: Racing Photos)
The Freedman stable has confirmed Santa Ana Lane will resume in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes over 1200m at Flemington on Saturday rather than heading straight up to Sydney and contesting the Premiere Stakes at Randwick.
While the five-time Group 1 winner hasn't won first-up since his second racing campaign back in 2016 when he was a three-year-old, a 'more forward' Santa Ana Lane is set to run a big race this weekend.
"He is going to run in Melbourne (in the Gilgai), he gets in nicely at the weights, he only has to carry a three-kilogram penalty and meets the others really well at the weights," Anthony Freedman's Racing Manager Brad Taylor said at trackwork on Tuesday morning.
"We'll keep him at home, he can go back down to Pinecliff straight after the run on Saturday and have a couple of days in the paddock, and he doesn't have to travel up there so early.
"He runs well up the straight so it's a nice race for him and we're looking forward to seeing him return."
Santa Ana Lane was due to resume more than a fortnight ago in the Concorde Stakes but was scratched prior to race day due to the rain-affected track at Randwick but the stable suggested he hasn't missed a beat.
"He had a jumpout last Friday at Flemington and he had a nice gallop here this morning and worked really well," Taylor explained.
"He's in good order, he's probably more forward than we've had him over the last couple of preparations with his target being only two weeks away.
"He'll run a bold race on Saturday, especially how he gets in at the weights and against the field.
"He was always just going to go into the race second-up, it's no concern.
"We always know he improves a lot off his first-up run, not necessarily saying he'll just win but as long as he's hitting the line strongly, we know he's got good improvement over the two weeks into The Everest and he'll be peaking second-up."
Santa Ana Lane opened $4.20 in BetEasy's all-in market for the Gilgai Stakes, and by Tuesday morning had eased out to $4.40. Sunlight has seen good early support, firming from $4.80 to $3.80.