Star sprinter Santa Ana Lane will remain in Melbourne to run in the Group Two Gilgai Stakes as his lead-up to the $14 million Everest in Sydney.
The Anthony Freedman-trained multiple Group One winner has also been nominated for the Premiere Stakes at Randwick on Saturday but the stable has confirmed the gelding will run in the Gilgai over the straight 1200m at Flemington.
“He gets in well at the weight with 60kg,” Freedman Racing posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
“His work this morning at Flemington was strong but he will take nice improvement out of the race ahead of The Everest on October 19.”
Santa Ana Lane was initially scheduled to make his season return in the Group Two Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 21 but after more than 80mm of rain in Sydney ahead of that race, Freedman decided to keep him at home in Victoria.
The seven-year-old is currently the $6 second favourite for The Everest behind Pierata ($5), who won The Shorts at his most recent start.
Santa Ana Lane’s five Group One wins include the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in April while he is also a Group One winner over the Flemington 1200m in last year’s VRC Sprint Classic.
He is second favourite at $4.50 in an early all-in market for Saturday’s Gilgai behind fellow Everest contender Sunlight ($3.50), third in Friday night’s Group One Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley.