ANTHONY Freedman’s Everest-bound pair Shoals and Santa Ana Lane will trial again before their spring programs are finalised.
The Group 1-winning stable stars trialled exceptionally at Cranbourne this week and will have another hitout later this month.
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Shoals, who won the Group 1 Surround Stakes and Sangster Stakes last autumn, will have one or two runs leading into the $13 million Everest but the Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Grand Final eve is definitely on the agenda.
The McEwen Stakes (1000m) at the Valley on September 8 is also a first-up option.
Goodwood and Stradbroke Handicap winner Santa Ana Lane is likely to resume in The Heath (1100) at Caulfield on September 1 and have another run before tackling the Everest.
Freedman’s racing manager Brad Taylor said the stable was thrilled with how both horses have come back.
“It’s been well mentioned Shoals trialled the best she ever has. We’re really pleased with her,” Taylor said.
“She’s a gutsy little filly, she’s very competitive, always wants to win.
“Santa was just there for a nice day out. He takes a couple of trials and a race to get fully fit. He was good through the line.
“Both riders we’re very happy with them.”
Shoals scored two Group 1 victories in the autumn. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Shoals and Santa Ana Lane are both $15 with TAB for The Everest.
They will be joined at the August 21 Cranbourne trials by former Japanese stayer Ambitious.
Taylor confirmed the Caulfield Cup was Ambitious’s main target before the stable decided whether to push ahead to the Melbourne Cup or drop back in distance for the Cox Plate.
Anthony Freedman will have a strong hand this spring. Picture: Colleen PetchSource:News Corp Australia
Ambitious was runner-up in the Group 1 BMW at Rosehill in March over 2400m behind 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin, and finished third in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in May.
His campaign will kick off in the 16000m Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at the Valley on September 8 or the 1800m Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on September 30.
Jockey Ben Melham pilots Santa Ana Lane to victory in this year’s Stradbroke Handicap. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
“He’s done really well during his break in Brisbane,” Taylor said.
“He’s put on good condition, he probably looks the best since he arrived in Australia.
“We’ll be guided by his couple of runs early on.
“He’ll be nominated for all three but the Caulfield Cup’s the main aim, and then whether we drop him back the week after in the Cox Plate or sticking to the Melbourne Cup will be dictated to by his performances this campaign.”
Mr Sneaky will again be set for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m). He ran second in the race last year behind stablemate Santa Ana Lane last year.
Petition, who has recovered from colic, will be aimed at the Myer Classic (1600m) on Derby Day.
Originally published as Everest pair look sharp but trek just beginning