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Group 1 glory all down to teamwork

4 min read
Anthony Freedman’s dynamic duo of Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega {IRE) and Shoals (Fastnet Rock) have taken the stable on a remarkable ride in the last 12 months.

The chief sprinting protagonists have collected seven Group 1 titles between them and their trainer credits the staggering run of success to a simple formula – unity.

“We’ve got a great group of guys, a great team,” Freedman said. “I just turn up and take a bit of the credit, but all the hard work is done behind the scenes.”

Those comments were echoed by his son Sam, who has also become an integral part of the operation.

“You can’t do it all yourself and need good people with you.” – Sam Freedman.

“It is a great team effort and they all do their jobs really well,” he said. “You can’t do it all yourself and need good people with you.”

Santa Ana Lane with his strapper following his victory in the G1 VRC Sprint

Shoals made her mark at the elite level for the first time when she won the Myer Classic a touch over 12 months ago and she subsequently added the Surround S., and the Sangster S., to her CV.

Barn mate Santa Ana Lane’s roll started with victory in last year’s Sir Rupert Clarke S., and he followed up in the Stradbroke H., and in the Goodwood H.

Barnstorming late run

On Saturday, the 6-year-old with the formidable finish added the G1 VRC Sprint Classic to his list of achievements at Flemington when, typically, he unleashed with a devastating run through the field.

A major title to elude Santa Ana Lane was The Everest, in which Shoals was also a non-factor, at Randwick where the heavy going foiled him.

“I thought he was spot on and I wouldn’t say this was an after- thought, but he has showed a dislike up the straight here, but he was strong late,” Freedman said.

“It’s been a great 12 months or so and we’ll put him away now and see what we can do next year.” - Anthony Freedman.

“It’s been a great 12 months or so and we’ll put him away now and see what we can do next year.”

Typically, Santa Ana Lane settled in the rear division and when the pressure went on and the field fanned out he was through in a flash.

“There’s only one way to ride him and he wins well late,” Freedman said. “It’s a nice consolation for The Everest.”

Anthony Freedman with jockey, Mark Zahra

Santa Ana Lane was ridden by Mark Zahra, who was pinch-tinning for the gelding’s regular partner Ben Melham, who was suspended.

“It’s a big carnival and I’ve really knuckled down the last few months and it’s paying dividends.” – Mark Zahra.

“Benny Melham got time out so I threw my hat in the ring,” he said. “It’s a big carnival and I’ve really knuckled down the last few months and it’s paying dividends.

“Anthony Freedman gave me instructions that not many trainers would give when he said just let the race unfold. The horse is flying and it all worked out nicely.”

Runner-up In Her Time (Time Thief) gave a bold account of herself under jockey Corey Brown.

In Her Time with jockey, Corey Brown

“The horse is racing really well and she’s run super,” trainer Kris Lees said.

“She’s a very good mare and a four-week run gap between runs suits her.” – Kris Lees.

“She had to change path, but she ran very well. She’s a very good mare and a four-week run gap between runs suits her.”

The G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S., winner Jungle Cat (IRE) (Iffraaj {GB}) signed off – a career at stud now awaits him – with a top effort to share third with Pierata (Pierro), who was also gallant in defeat.

“It was an enormous run. He got a bit wobbly and lost and he boxed on really well for equal third,” Pierata’s part-owner and trainer Greg Hickman said.

“You’ve got to chase these Group 1s, we keep him fresh and we’ll keep on looking after him.”