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Sydney plans for Santa, Homesman

Sydney autumn campaigns have been confirmed for new stablemates Santa Ana Lane and Homesman after both Group 1 winners trialled at Werribee on Tuesday.

Santa Ana Lane looked burly and his connections conceded he would struggle to win at his planned first-up run in the $500,000 G2 Challenge Stakes at Randwick on March 7 after he ran on for third in his 800-metre trial.

Homesman will be having his first run for the Anthony Freedman stable a week earlier in the $600,000 G1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 29.

Stable foreman Sam Freedman said that despite carrying some extra weight this time around, he was looking forward to Santa Ana Lane defending his T.J. Smith Stakes title in Sydney in April.

"He went well but just got tired that last 100 metres," he said. "He's going to have another jumpout either in Sydney or Melbourne over the next couple of weeks.

"He's still got a bit (weight) to lose. We gave him a really good spell after the spring, but he'll tighten up with another trial.

"Mark (Zahra) was really happy. He said his action was perfect and that he just got a bit tired.

"The Challenge Stakes is a nice first-up run for him although he probably can't win over 1000 metres but it will set him up for a good go at the T.J. second-up."

Homesman had the blinkers on in his 1100-metre trial and they switched him on with the import speeding out of the gates and then holding off a late challenge from Mr Quickie to score.

"He was excellent today," Freedman said. "We trialled him at Balnarring without the blinkers and although he trialled well enough, he was a bit lazy and going through the motions, so Ben Melham knows the horse really well and he was happy with what he did.

"He'll probably go to Sydney for the Chipping Norton on Saturday week.

"He's a lovely horse to do anything with and hopefully we can get him back to his best form for Nick and Lloyd Williams."

Santa Ana Lane, picture Sportpix.com.au

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