Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Emerging sprinting star Nature Strip is odds on to stake a claim for the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Spring Racing Carnival when he steps out at Flemington on Saturday.
Nature Strip is looking to make it two wins from two starts for trainer Darren Weir and has been installed the $1.45 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Listed $120,000 A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m).
The brilliant three year old is extremely well weighted under the set weights and penalties conditions of the A.R. Creswick Series Final against his own age and part owner Rod Lyons said a repeat of his last start four and a half lengths win down the Flemington straight should be enough to reel in the interest of the remaining slot holders of The Everest who are yet to secure a runner.
“We’ve had two phone calls – no offers – just ‘are you interested’,” Lyons told racing.com.
“We are, of course, interested but I would think that they (slot-holders) are sitting on the outside and looking in and seeing how he performs on Saturday. If he can put in another performance like he did the other day then I guess we can start talking seriously.”
“Doing the form, you can’t really see how he can get beaten.”
“But we’ve all been down that track before where you think there is something over the line that has got beaten.
“On weights, measures, times, he meets everything a heap better and even those ones he hasn’t raced against, I think his form is better so it would be shattering if he happened to get beaten.”
Nature Strip will be having his second run for the Weir stable and will carry 2kg less than the 60.5kg he lumped to victory in the 1100m three year old Handicap down the Flemington straight on June 23.
The Paul Preusker trained I Am Someone finished four and a half lengths behind Nature Strip at Flemington with 52kg on his back but jumps up to 57.5kg for the A.R. Creswick Series Final, meeting the Weir trained three year old 7.5kg worse off.
The Danny O’Brien trained Order Of Command is another who will be challenging Nature Strip again and will also meet him 3.5kg worse off at the weights after finishing seven and a quarter lengths behind him last start at Flemington.
Nature Strip is undefeated from two runs down the Flemington straight and has drawn barrier five in the twelve horse field with last start winning jockey Damian Lane in the saddle again.
Confirmed runners for the 2018 The Everest are Trapeze Artist (Aquis Farm, slot holder), In Her Time (TAB), Redzel (Yulong Investments), Brave Smash (Chris Waller Racing), Shoals (The Star Casino) and English (Damion Flower).
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Redzel, Trapeze Artist, $10 In Her Time, Nature Strip, Santa Ana Lane, Shoals, $16 English, Vega Magic, $18 Brave Smash, $26 Harry Angel, Kementari, Menari, Redkirk Warrior, Blue Point, $31 Equilateral, Happy Clapper, $34 Alizee, Chautauqua, Estijaab, Hot King Prawn, Le Romain, Viddora, Winx, $41 or better the rest.
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