Godolphin’s three-time Group 1 champion Avilius...
Trainer Chris Waller celebrated the quinella in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday with Australian Horse of the Year Nature Strip back to his brilliant best defeating his fast-finishing young stablemate September Run.
Nicconi six-year-old Nature Strip looked the goods in the mounting yard at HQ ahead of his first-up return in the Black Caviar Lightning and produced a sensational performance thanks to a patient ride by the now four-time Group 1 winning female hoop Jamie Kah.
Kah made it a treble at the meeting and enjoyed her 63rd win for the season, settling Nature Strip up on speed behind the flying Pippie in the weight-for-age showdown.
“She’s going fantastic,” Waller’s stable rep Jo Taylor said of Kah post-race speaking to Thoroughbred Central.
“You certainly can’t fault her and it’s fantastic to have her on for the big days.”
After a spring of near misses, Nature Strip ($4.40) was able to return to winning form and enjoy his first victory since last April’s Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney, the big boy taking his earnings up over $6 million.
“He showed today exactly why he was Australian Horse of the Year,” Taylor said.
“We didn’t quite see that in the spring, but he’s come back here today and he’s certainly stamped his run.”
Off two nice trials at home, the Sydney sprint star flashed down the straight in Melbourne, Kah riding the horse not the race and producing him at exactly the right time.
“You can’t take anything away from that,” Taylor said.
“We’ve seen him struggle at the thousand metres first-up especially at Group 1 level, but Jamie was nice and patient…got him going at the right time and kept him kicking.
“We’ve been very pleased with him. he obviously had a few things go wrong in the spring…so it was nice to see things just go smoothly this autumn and he’s come here and produced the goods
“Fantastic to get a Group 1 result.
It was a dynamic, on-speed victory as Kah allowed Pippie to set the pace before going up on the inside to charge to the line and hold off the late finishing fillies September Run ($10) and Swats That ($17).
Also prepared by Waller, Exceed And Excel three-year-old September Run was brilliant in her first run since beating home the boys in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at the track last November.
Performing bravely at WFA fresh, she looks on track for the upcoming Group 1 $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on Super Saturday (March 6) where she will get in on a nice light weight.
September Run has firmed in from $5 to $3.40 favouritism in all-in Newmarket Handicap 2021 betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, with the Coolmore Stud Stakes runner-up Swats That now the $8 second elect.
Beaten favourite, the Godolphin-raced Bivouac meanwhile ran fifth in the Black Caviar Lightning results, the reigning VRC Sprint Classic champ being kept safe for the Newmarket at $10 with Nature Strip at $14.
2021 Black Caviar Lightning Results
|1||1||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||Ms Jamie Kah||2||58.5kg||$4.40|
|2||7||SEPTEMBER RUN||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||0.5L||3||53.5kg||$10|
|3||8||SWATS THAT||Leon & Troy Corstens||Jye McNeil||1.75L||8||53.5kg||$17|
|4||6||FABERGINO||Tiarnna Robertson||Michael Poy||2.5L||7||56.5kg||$12|
|5||2||BIVOUAC||James Cummings||Glen Boss||2.6L||6||58.5kg||$2.15F|
|6||5||PIPPIE||Chris Meagher||Damian Lane||4.1L||4||56.5kg||$10|
|7||4||HALVORSEN||Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock||Luke Currie||7.1L||1||58.5kg||$151|
|8||3||ELITE STREET||Daniel Morton||Mark Zahra||12.1L||5||58.5kg||$15|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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