The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Punters are hoping it is third time lucky for Chris Waller’s star sprinter Nature Strip as he again lines-up as the first-up and odds-on favourite in Saturday’s 2021 Concorde Stakes field at Randwick.
In 2019 the galloper ran fourth in the event behind two-time The Everest champion Redzel before he was beaten as the $1.40 favourite in an upset by Gytrash in last year’s race.
This weekend the $8 million earner is after redemption and the bookies are taking no chances with the 60.5kg top weight Nature Strip at $1.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au to take out the Group 3 $160,000 Concorde Stakes (1000m).
The Nicconi seven-year-old was last seen celebrating his sixth Group 1 win when successfully defending his title in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick with a two-length win back on April 10.
He was outstanding in a subsequent six and a half-length trial win over 900m at Rosehill and looks fit and ready to fire fresh in the Concorde ahead of his third bid in the $15 million The Everest (1200m) in October.
James McDonald continues associations with Nature Strip and the duo jump from barrier four in a field down to just eight hopefuls after the early scratching of Wisdom Of Water (5).
The two dangers occupying the second and third lines of Concorde Stakes betting respectively are the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Wild Ruler ($4.80) and the Godolphin-raced Trekking ($6.50).
Snitzel entire Wild Ruler makes his four-year-old debut in the event looking to atone for his ninth to Eduardo in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) from mid-May in Brisbane.
Prior to that he narrowly took out the Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m), his fourth win from as many runs at Randwick.
Wild Ruler is looking to remain undefeated at the track on Saturday, the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes third placegetter from the spring in Melbourne also boasting an excellent first-up record (4:3-1-0).
Street Cry seven-year-old Trekking meanwhile is also first-up in the event last seen running fourth in Eagle Farm’s Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) back in May.
It’s been a while between drinks for the consistent Trekking whose last victory was in Morphettville’s Group 1 The Goodwood in 2020 over Gytrash, but trainer James Cummings remains confident the best is not behind their evergreen sprinter.
“He’s up and about and feeling good and I feel that he’s demonstrating the positive qualities of a horse that who’s had a brief campaign last time in,” Cummings said on SEN Track’s Bensley.
“We restricted him to only three starts (last preparation) and that seems to have invigorated him somewhat to give plenty of life to the horse.
“He seems to me to be quite bubbly and ready to go for a really important campaign.”
Trekking is also racing to fill the Godolphin slot in this year’s The Everest field having run third to Yes Yes Yes in 2019 before his fourth to Classique Legend in last year’s edition of the world’s richest turf race.
Click here for the latest Concorde Stakes 2021 betting markets for Saturday.
2021 Concorde Stakes Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x2472x121x||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||4||60.5kg||121|
|2||x2424x554x||TREKKING||James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||6||60kg||115|
|3||x113x1619x||WILD RULER||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||7||59.5kg||103|
|4||0x5528x00x||STANDOUT||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Hugh Bowman||8||59kg||102|
|5||x08x26353x||WISDOM OF WATER||Annabel Neasham||Tim Clark||5||58kg||92|
|6||643x31002x||HANDLE THE TRUTH||Keith Dryden||Jason Collett||1||57kg||95|
|7||5x0152x64x||STAR BOY||Brett Cavanough||Joshua Parr||2||56kg||85|
|8||2275133×18||STANDING BEAR||Tony Ball||Brock Ryan (a)||3||56kg||61|
|9||507x93311x||ADELONG||Brad Widdup||Jay Ford||9||55kg||101|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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