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  • Friday, 13 December 2019
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Santa Ana Lane

Flemington tips and best bets: Darley Sprint Classic Preview 2019

Everest form set to dominate

Distance 1200m
Grade Group 1
Track Rating Soft 5
Prizemoney $2,000,000
Class WFA
2018 winner Santa Ana Lane ($11)

The Darley Sprint has attracted a number of high quality runners, many who arrive via The Everest

This will make for an interesting spectacle as they charge down the straight, with a strong gallop almost certainly ensured by the presence of Nature Strip. 

I expect The Everest form to be far superior and the horses out of that race should have most Manikato runners covered.


Race Track Race Flemington Track Traits

For the latest insight on how the Flemington track is likely to play, read our preview of the Group One Mackinnon Stakes


Market Movers Racing Market Movers

Race favourite Santa Ana Lane is a slight drifter in early betting, out to $2.20 from $2.15.

All other runners remain steady.


Horse Racing Key Runners

#1 Santa Ana Lane $2.15 > $2.20

Defending champ whose last start Everest run was enormous, when he stormed late to just miss (2 of 12)  after being held up at a crucial stage.

There is no doubt he is flying and just has to hold that form again, after being asked to peak up in The Everest.

Gets back and with a solid tempo predicted, should simply collar them all late. Must go on top.  


#2  Nature Strip $4.40

Will lead and run them all along at a decent tempo.

He surprised most when holding on for fourth in The Everest, after burning along and still giving a great kick at the end.

You will still be taking a risk that he over races, however with plenty of racing this prep he should have that fierce edge off him now. Big player.  

Nature Strip


#4 The Bostonian $15  

Was well supported in betting and chased hard in the Manikato Stakes to finish 5 of 11.

He would need plenty of favours here, including a hectic tempo up front and a nice tow into it.

I suspect that he is a shade below a few of them, however can't completely rule out. 



#6 Zoutori $13  

Started as a $2.45 favourite to win the first race on Derby Day, however he could only muster a third place finish. He didn't have the best beginning in that race, after he jumped awkwardly and was never a chance after that.  

There could be some improvement here, but I doubt it is enough to mix it with the main chances. No.   


#7 In Her Time $11   

Could be the one here, as she loves an ambush off the back of a hot tempo. She should get the race run to suit given Nature Strip's involvement.

Her Everest run (9 of 12) was inconclusive after she received some interference and never quite balanced in the run home.

The trainer appears very bullish about her chances and if the money came late in betting, expect her to go very close. Yes. 

In Her Time


#8 Alizee $9.00

Has a lethal turn of foot and will have the opportunity to use it here off a predicted hot speed. 

She is another who comes via the Everest, where she could only manage a 7 of 12 finish following a torrid run.

Although she'll be going around without me, she has plenty of class and it would not surprise to see her bounce back to winning form here. 



#9 Loving Gaby $8.00

Was excellent last start in the Manikato, when she surprised them all with her on-speed tactics before racing away to win with ease.

This is much harder, however she certainly has the talent to be competitive and possibly has more upside than most.

It will be very interesting to see the tactics applied here and whether they decide to race closer in the run again. Leading chance.  


Of The Others

#3 Rock Magic trialled like a bomb coming into the Manikato, where he ran well to finish 4 of 11 first-up.

He looks the best blowout chance at big odds of $27. 


Horse Racing Tips Best Racing Tips

1st  Santa Ana Lane

2nd  In Her Time

3rd  Nature Strip 

4th  Loving Gaby 

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