The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
The ATC has snapped up the brilliant Nature Strip to run in their slot in the 2018 $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13.
Nature Strip’s record breaking win in last Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at The Valley was enough to convince the ATC to sign up Darren Weir’s brilliant sprinter.
The Nicconi four year old scorched around The Valley’s 1000m course to record a new track record of 56.95sec to record his eighth win from eleven starts and his fourth straight victory for the Darren Weir stable.
ATC director Phil Morley is delighted to have secured Nature Strip to fill their slot and believes he is a genuine chance to figure in the finish.
“We are delighted to bring another dimension to TAB Everest with a sprinter of the promise of Nature Strip,” Morley said.
“Nature Strip broke a course record at his most recent win and will add an X-factor to the field.
“We believe Nature Strip is an excellent winning chance and will add to the quality and character of the race.”
Weir is very confident that Nature Strip will run a strong 1200m in The Everest if he is allowed to be ridden more quietly and let someone else do the hard work up front and the master trainer has declared him the fastest horse he has trained.
“He’s the fastest horse I’ve trained,” Weir said.
“The speed that they went, he was going to be found wanting late.”
“Normally we wouldn’t let horses out of the barrier like that but if he didn’t use his barrier and go hard like he did it becomes messy.
“There will be people querying the 1200m but with that run under his belt and another good, solid run in the Moir, I think we’ll be right.”
Weir will also saddle up last year’s third placegetter Brave Smash who will run in the Chris Waller Racing owned slot.
Confirmed runners for the 2018 The Everest: Trapeze Artist (Aquis, slot holder), In Her Time (TAB), Redzel (Yulong Investments), Brave Smash (Chris Waller Racing), Shoals (The Star), English (Damion Flower), Santa Ana Lane (Inglis), U S Navy Flag (Coolmore), Vega Magic (James Harron) and Invincible Star (GPI Racing), Nature Strip (ATC) with one remaining slot yet to be filled.
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Redzel, $5 Trapeze Artist, $6.50 Nature Strip, Vega Magic, $12 Santa Ana Lane, In Her Time, U S Navy Flag, $16 Home Of The Brave, $18 English, Shoals, Invincible Star, $21 Brave Smash, $31 Pierata, $34 Winx, $41 Jungle Cat, $61 Graff, Happy Clapper, Kemeno, Le Romain, Prompt Response, Sunlight, Voodoo Lad, Zousain, $101 or better the rest.
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