2022 Champions Sprint Field & Betting: Nature Strip Chases 3rd Victory

November 2, 2022

2022 Champions Sprint Field & Betting: Nature Strip Chases 3rd Victory

Two-time hero Nature Strip is set to return to winning form and secure an historic third win in Flemington’s Champions Sprint 2022 when he again takes on The Everest winning three-year-old Giga Kick in the $3 million showdown on Saturday.

Nature Strip Horse Form (Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos) | Races.com.au

Two-time hero Nature Strip is favourite again in 2022 Champions Sprint betting on Stakes Day at Flemington. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The world’s best sprinter, Chris Waller’s eight-year-old son of Nicconi is all the rage in betting on this weekend’s Group 1 Darley Champions Sprint (1200m) – formerly the VRC Sprint Classic – having won the event in 2019 and last year for the stable.

With over $20 million in the bank, the internationally-preformed champion returns to the straight at Flemington where he boasts an imposing record (9:6-2-0) having been narrowly beaten in the world’s richest turf race last start.

After winning the $15 million The Everest last year, Nature Strip was favourite to go back-to-back and emulate Redzel (2017, 2018) as two-time heroes of the Sydney feature.

He was far from disgraced running under a length away fourth as three-year-old Giga Kick stole the show in a boilover at big odds.

Saturday sees the two come face-to-face again this time at headquarters, and it is the more experienced Nature Strip the punters want.

Nature Strip, drawn out in barrier 12 for jockey James McDonald, sits top of the Champions Sprint odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.10.

Giga Kick presents as the danger on the second line of betting at $6 in gate seven with Craig Williams in the saddle again.

Williams gave the unbeaten Clayton Douglas-trained Scissor Kick gelding a perfectly timed ride to break their hearts in The Everest.

This time the youngster rises only a half-kilo with 53.5kg as he returns to Flemington where he has won both his previous starts including the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1100m) that led into his upset success at Randwick.

At an equal $6 quote in Champions Sprint betting is last start winning mare at The Valley, Bella Nipotina, for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup winning trainers Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.

The always-honest daughter of Pride Of Dubai finally broke through for her maiden Group 1 success at her 32nd career start in the rescheduled Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Cox Plate Day.

Saturday marks her fifth run at Flemington where she has had three minor placings, including a distant third when 4.5 lengths off Nature Strip in last year’s race off a Manikato second.

She will get a peach of a run from barrier four with Jamie Kah aboard on Stakes Day, and with the confidence of a last start win, has every hope of another big performance.

Presenting as the forgotten value runner in the field is Michael Moroney’s Per Incanto mare Roch ‘N’ Horse ($26).

She won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap here at 100/1 in the autumn and was good finishing second to subsequent The Everest runner-up Private Eye last start in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).

The 2022 Darley Champions Sprint is set to run as Flemington Race 6 at 3:50pm (AEDT) with full markets thanks to Ladbrokes.com.au available here.

2022 Champions Sprint Final Field & Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 1x231x1x14 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 12 58.5kg 122
2 6x579x6390 MASKED CRUSADER Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Damien Thornton 11 58.5kg 111
3 20x8730x40 THE INFERNO Cliff Brown John Allen 1 58.5kg 104
4 7x5543x152 ROTHFIRE Robert Heathcote Luke Nolen 8 58.5kg 108
5 103322×618 PAULELE James Cummings Brenton Avdulla 9 58.5kg 109
6 x402x104x1 FRONT PAGE Geoff Duryea Ben Melham 3 58.5kg 98
7 72633×6463 THE ASTROLOGIST Leon & Troy Corstens Nash Rawiller 10 58.5kg 104
8 20x8815x13 BALLER Tony Gollan Mark Zahra 5 58.5kg 108
9 x58155x121 BELLA NIPOTINA Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Ms Jamie Kah 4 56.5kg 112
10 64x3135x84 SEPTEMBER RUN Chris Waller Damien Oliver 13 56.5kg 110
11 427210×422 ROCH ’N’ HORSE (NZ) Michael Moroney Jamie Mott 6 56.5kg 111
12 514x12114x LEVANTE (NZ) Ken & Bev Kelso Michael Dee 14 56.5kg 111
13 8x1227x291 ARGENTIA Anthony & Sam Freedman Tim Clark 15 56.5kg 101
14 1×1111 GIGA KICK Clayton Douglas Craig Williams 7 53.5kg 114
15 11×34 LOFTY STRIKE Julius Sandhu Craig Newitt 2 53.5kg 86

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 

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