Exciting young sprinter Nature Strip is likely to clash with brilliant two year old Sunlight in the 2018 Listed $100,000 Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville on July 28.
Nature Strip is undefeated from two race starts for the Darren Weir stable and will drop back to the 1050m after two wins at down the Flemington straight in a 1100m three year old Handicap on June 23 and in the Listed $120,000 A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m) on July 7.
Connections of Nature Strip are still hoping to secure a slot for the 2018 version of the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 and another win by the Nicconi three year old could interest one of the remaining slot holders for The Everest to sign him up.
“The Everest would be terrific if we got in it. The excitement and the hype, that would be great,” part owner Rod Lyons said.
Weir has originally pencilled in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on the same day as the Lightning Stakes against the older horse at weight for age but has opted to head to Adelaide for the Lightning Stakes wich is restricted to two and three year olds.
Weir’s stable foreman Jarrod McLean said that the stable has had plenty of success in Adelaide of late and the trip across the border will only be beneficial for the three year old.
“We’ve had a lot of success in South Australia this season and we continue to look at their program for suitable options for our horses,” McLean said.
“The travel to South Australia will be beneficial for him and he also gets to go around a bend on race day for the first time since joining our stable.”
The Tony McEvoy trained Sunlight was one of the stars of the early two year old season with five wins from seven starts, including a brilliant victory in the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January.
Sunlight will be having her first run back in the Lightning Stakes since running third behind Estijaab and Oohood in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival.