The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
The Chris Waller-trained Nature Strip is now a multiple Group 1 winner after claiming last night’s 2019 Moir Stakes (1000m) under lights at The Valley.
Making up for last years disappointing run in the same race, Nature Strip enjoyed a peach of a ride from jockey James McDonald, who chose to dictate the pace early before shifting into gear with 100m to go.
Nature Strip, who won The Galaxy (1100m) back in March, has always possessed a tremendous turn of foot, although it was another nail-biting watch for connections as Miss Leonidas nearly pinched a win at the line.
A case of the wobbles struck Nature Strip with a furlong to go, but Miss Leonidas’ wide draw proved too much to overcome.
“I was a bit worried about barrier one because he’s got a bit of a history about jumping slow, but when he hit the front, I was pretty confident,” Waller’s stable representative Stuart Williams said after the race.
Nature Strip has again entered $14 million The Everest calculations ahead of the world’s richest turf race on October 19 at Royal Randwick.
Last night’s win has seen Waller’s speedster remain steady at $17.00 in the all-in The Everest 2019 betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au, but after a tough first-up run when fourth behind Redzel in last fortnight’s Concorde Stakes (1000m), Nature Strip still might need to prove himself further to gain a slot.
“I’d say we’ll just see how it unfolds over the next few days. If he doesn’t get an invite to The Everest, I guess the Schillaci is the logical choice but there are plenty of options this time of year,” Waller told Racing.com.
McDonald’s heroics were a welcome sign on Friday night after Nature Strip failed to fire in the Concorde. Waller had plenty to answer for last time out after trying to get the horse to relax in the early goings, but he said this time around he left everything up to the jockey.
‘’I didn’t give James any instructions,’’ Waller said.
‘’It’s a bitter pill to take when you don’t quite get it right so I think this is a good reward for everybody and I hope the punters had something on and got a bit back from last start when apparently I did everything wrong.’’
A full list of 2019 The Everest odds can be viewed here.
2019 AJ Moir Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||–||1||58.5kg||$3.30F|
|2||15||MISS LEONIDAS||Shaun Dwyer||Stephen Baster||0.2L||7||56.5kg||$31|
|3||11||SUNLIGHT||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||0.4L||10||56.5kg||$6|
|4||4||FAATINAH||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Jamie Kah||0.5L||15||58.5kg||$31|
|5||8||BONS AWAY||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Linda Meech||0.6L||9||58.5kg||$15|
|6||14||MERYL||Lee Curtis||Dean Yendall||1.35L||6||56.5kg||$101|
|7||9||EDUARDO||Sarah Zschoke||Brian Park||1.45L||2||58.5kg||$15|
|8||2||TREKKING||James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||1.65L||11||58.5kg||$6.50|
|9||3||THE BOSTONIAN (NZ)||Tony Pike||Damian Lane||2.15L||13||58.5kg||$13|
|10||12||BOOKER||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damien Oliver||2.9L||4||56.5kg||$18|
|11||6||VIRIDINE||James Cummings||Ben Melham||3.1L||5||58.5kg||$19|
|12||7||TACTICAL ADVANTAGE||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||3.6L||8||58.5kg||$31|
|13||13||WINTER BRIDE||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Tommy Berry||4.35L||12||56.5kg||$51|
|14||10||ASSERTIVE APPROACH||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||10.35L||14||58.5kg||$26|
|15||1||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||14.35L||3||58.5kg||$20|
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