Stars align for a classic carnival closer

Santa Ana Lane, Pierata, Dreamforce, Kementari, The Bostonian, Bivouac, Brandenburg – what a race!

The final Group 1 in Sydney this season, the $480,000 All Aged Stakes (1400m) is going to be a highlight of the autumn carnival.

Most of the leading contenders are going into the All Aged in outstanding form, particularly Santa Ana Lane.

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Santa Ana Lane will rocket home in the All Aged Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Nature Strip was too fast and too good in the TJ Smith Stakes but Santa Ana Lane’s fast-finishing second was an outstanding run from this world-class sprinter.

Santa Ana Lane’s racing style means he will be giving most if not all of his rivals a start, but with Dreamforce in the field at least the tempo will be even.

The three-year-olds Bivouac and Brandenburg should be hard to beat.

Bivouac missed the start in the TJ Smith, got into an awkward position back last on the fence around the turn but he made good ground late to finish sixth. He won the Golden Rose earlier this season and has beaten the older horses at Group 1 level in the Newmarket Handicap three starts back.

Brandenburg is an underrated colt. He won the Hobartville Stakes when resuming then has run three competitive races at Group 1 level since, including his game third in the Doncaster Mile to Nettoyer.

John Sargent, trainer of Brandenburg, has had a change of mind after initially planning to spell his colt after the Doncaster.

“Brandenburg pulled up great after the Doncaster so we are considering the All Aged now,’’ Sargent said.

Brandenburg could continue his autumn campaign in the All Aged Stakes. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Pierata won the All Aged Stakes last year and showed with his closing fourth in the TJ Smith Stakes that he is going to be hard to beat again in what is likely to be the final race of his career.

“We are very happy with the horse and the 1400m is going to suit him,’’ said Greg Hickman, trainer of Pierata.

POT THE HOTSHOT

SANTA ANA LANE ran a blinder in defence of his TJ Smith title, finishing fast for second behind the brilliant Nature Strip. It was a tremendous effort by Santa Ana Lane, although he was never going to catch the winner. Still one of the world’s best sprinters, Santa Ana Lane is early favourite for the All Aged but, interestingly, he hasn’t been in a race longer than 1200m for nearly two years.

BLACK BOOKER

PIERATA won the All Aged Stakes last year and his two runs back have him primed to go back-to-back next Saturday. He was closing strongly late when fourth in the TJ Smith Stakes last start and is better suited at 1400m. It’s worth noting the last horse to win successive All Aged Stakes was Kiwi champ Rough Habit in 1992-93 when the race was over 1600m.

Pierata will be back to defend his crown in the All Aged Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

WORTH A THROW

KEMENTARI made his comeback run in the Star Kingdom Stakes and his effort to finish third, beaten a half length, was very good. He had topweight of 60kg and was on the inside section of the track where you needed to be out a little wider that day. Kementari is a talented galloper when right, his second-up form is good and he’s value at $15.

ALL AGED STAKES EARLY ODDS

$4 Santa Ana Lane

$4.50 Bivouac, Pierata

$8 Dreamforce

$11 Brandenburg, The Bostonian

$15 Fasika, Kementari, Tofane

CHAMPAGNE STAKES

KING’S LEGACY CAN GO THE DISTANCE

Trainer Peter Snowden has no issues with King’s Legacy going out to 1600m for the first time in the Group 1 $400,000 Champagne Stakes at Royal Randwick next Saturday.

King’s Legacy earned Champagne Stakes favouritism with his fast-finishing win in the ATC Sires Produce Stakes over 1400m last start. The Sires is invariably the best lead-up form for the Champagne Stakes with the double being achieved 40 times over the years, most recently by Helmet (2011), Pierro (2012) and Guelph (2013).

Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, is aiming for his fourth win in the Champagne Stakes when he lines up the promising King’s Legacy.

King’s Legacy will relish the step up to 1600m in the Champagne Stakes. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

“Right from the get-go, we thought King’s Legacy would need a bit of ground,’’ Snowden said. “He is suited by being left alone to find his feet early and then show what he can do at the end of his races which is what happened in the Sires.

“The speed of the Sires might have flattered his finish a little but in saying that there was no fluke about his win.

“His trackwork is second to none and he does have a devastating turn of foot. It has been our target to go to the Sires and then the Champagne.

“I have no reservations about him getting a mile, it should be right up his alley.’’

King’s Legacy has opened as the $2.80 favourite with his rivals likely to include the promising Team Hawkes-trained colt Ole Kirk, a close relation to unbeaten super sprinter Black Caviar and the outstanding All Too Hard.

POT THE HOTSHOT

If KING’S LEGACY can reproduce his outstanding effort to win the ATC Sires on Day One of The Championships, he is clearly the horse to beat in the Champagne Stakes. Aided by a brilliant Hugh Bowman ride, King’s Legacy came from near last to overwhelm Prague. Perhaps $2.80 is short enough but hard to find any other negatives for this classy colt.

BLACK BOOKER

OLE KIRK was in front of King’s Legacy in the Sires until about the 600m where the colt got off the rails and was angled towards the centre of the track to make his run. King’s Legacy saved ground near the rail as Ole Kirk had to make his run wide out to finish a close fourth. His losing effort was full of merit and he should run a strong 1600m in the Champagne Stakes.

WORTH A THROW

HOLYFIELD led most of the way and went for home before the turn so his effort to hold off challenges and win the Baillieu over 1400m was impressive. Promising colt and should run the 1600m right out. A winner of three of his four starts and from the powerful Ciaron Maher-David Eustace stable.

CHAMPAGNE STAKES EARLY ODDS

$2.80 King’s Legacy

$3.50 Ole Kirk

$6 Holyfield

$8 Aim, Untamed

$11 Glenfiddich, Postcode

$15 Azaly

Originally published asStars align for a classic carnival closer

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