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Pegus hopes history repeats in Goodwood

18th May, 2017

Trent Masenhelder (G1x.com) reported:

Mark Pegus returns to the scene of his greatest success in racing on Saturday, the 38-year-old hoop heading to Adelaide to ride Santa Ana Lane for Lee and Anthony Freedman in the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap.

Pegus, who began his apprenticeship in Victoria with Russell Cameron in 1999, and has had close to 7,700 rides since, has G1 win on his CV - the Goodwood Handicap (he won the sprint feature back in 2008 aboard the Gwenda Johnstone-trained Shadoways).

Pegus has also enjoyed big-race success with Lee Freedman, having won the Listed Morphettville Guineas in 2010 on his filly Becerra.

“It’s always good to win a big one,” Pegus said.

“You don’t think it’s that long ago; when you look at the dates you think ‘where’s all that time gone?’.

Pegus has a long and successful relationship with Lee Freedman. Prior to the Hall Of Fame trainer joining forces with brother, Pegus had 136 rides for him, for 26 wins - a strike rate of a very healthy 19 per cent.

And from three rides for Lee and Anthony, Pegus has a perfect record.

“For probably two of three years there, when Dwayne Dunn was his stable rider, I was one of Lee’s jockeys behind Dwayne,” Pegus said.

“Lee’s been really good to me over the years. We’ve had fun times and I’ve ridden a lot of winners for him.”

Santa Ana Lane goes into the $1 million Goodwood on the back of a hugely impressive victory in the Wagga Town Plate earlier this month.

Interestingly, Pegus was called up off the bench at late notice after Chad Lever injured his back.

"I put you down on this horse, don't mess it up," Lee said to Pegus.

Santa Ana Lane settled at the rear of the field, before unleashing a devastating turn of foot to notch his first win since February, 2016.

“The plan was to ride him midfield. I just had to keep coming back so I could get a clear passage,” said Pegus.

“I got to the outside and thought I had the job ahead of me, but I didn’t even really have to ask him and he put them away.”

Pegus knows the Lope De Vega gelding needs to go up a gear if he’s to knock off the likes of Black Heart Bart, Malaguerra and Secret Agenda, but he’s

“There’s some proven G1 horses there, but when I got off him at Wagga I was hoping Lee would go to the Goodwood,” Pegus explained. “The way he did it at Wagga… I know it was a long way from a G1 field, but I haven’t had a horse that’s accelerated so quick like he did and give me the feel that he did.

“I thought ‘he can be a real chance in a Goodwood’.”

Ladbrokes has Santa Ana Lane at $21, with Black Heart Bart heading the market at $3.60.

Photo Credit - Racing Photos

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