Spring preparations for The Everest favourite Santa Ana Lane will ramp up when the star sprinter steps out in a barrier trial at Cranbourne.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Santa Ana Lane makes his first public appearance since his fourth in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong in late April when he runs in an 800m-heat on Monday.
“He will need a nice hit-out but he won’t be pushed around at all,” Freedman’s son and assistant trainer, Sam Freedman, said.
“We’ll just ride him quiet and let him work home under his own steam.
“He’s never trialled real flash in his first trials back anyway, so we’ll just expect him to float around and the ground will probably be testing so we won’t want to give him too hard a time.
“But he’s in really good order.
“He’s coming to hand fairly quickly for the amount of work we’ve given him.
“He’s just been coming along nicely. We’ve still got a long time until The Everest and his first-up assignment is not for another month.”
The plan is to give the multiple Group One winner two trials before he resumes in the Group Two Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 21.
He will then have another trial before the $14 million Everest (1200m) on October 19.
A dominant winner of the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April , Santa Ana Lane is $5 favourite for The Everest.
“Touch wood everything is going well and he’s coming to hand as he has in every other prep,” Freedman said.
“Hopefully it just keeps tracking the right way.”
Fellow Group One winners Gailo Chop, Black Heart Bart, Humidor, Malaguerra, Aloisia, Princess Jenni and Mr Quickie are among the horses entered for the Cranbourne trials.
Queensland Derby winner Mr Quickie will have his first of two planned trials before resuming in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington next month.
“He’s ticking over nicely,” trainer Phillip Stokes said.
Mr Quickie is among a group of six horses on the top line of Caulfield Cup betting at $15 although spring plans for the four-year-old remain open.
“We haven’t got anything in concrete. We’ll just play it as it comes,” Stokes said.
“It’s pretty hard when you get to this level. He’s in good order and is working well.”