Dual entree Nature Strip will head to Adelaide on Saturday to take on the brilliant local filly Sunlight in the Listed $100,000 Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville.
The Darren Weir trained Nature Strip was also nominated for the weight for age Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Satrurday but stable foreman Jarrod McLean confirmed this morning that the emerging sprinting star would cross the border for the set weights race for the two and three year olds.
“He will definitely head across to Adelaide for the two and three year old race over 1050m. It is just a nice race for him against his own age,” McLean told racing.com.
“Obviously the Bletchingly, the way that is shaping up, it is going to be a proven Group 1 field.”
“At this stage of the horse’s prep, the slight freshen up back to the 1050m fits in well.”
Nature Strip was the star worker of the huge Weir team that headed to Mortlake for their early morning workout today and Mclean said that the Nicconi three year old galloped impressively over 800m with Harry Coffey in the saddle.
“Harry Coffey galloped Nature Strip on his own. He was asked to just go out and do a nice half mile (800m), basically on the bridle, and not asked to extend. He was still the quickest of the morning out of our forty-four,” McLean said.
“It just proves that he is a talented horse and look forward to the weekend with him.”
Nature Strip has been touted as a possible contender for the 2018 $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 and connections wouldn’t knock back the chance to run in the rich sprint if one of the three remaining slot holders were interested in signing him up.
“Ultimately the concept of The Everest is good, got everybody talking and if a spot came up it is definitely achievable for him, but Weiry (trainer Darren Weir) just said if it happens, it happens, but if it doesn’t there are plenty more races for him,” McLean said.
“We will see where we are at after Saturday and hopefully somebody is ringing the connections to secure him for that race in October.”
Nature Strip has only been in the Weir stable since the middle of May but is undefeated from two runs at Flemington for the premiership winning trainer and is posted as the odds on $1.60 favourite for the Lightings Stakes at Ladbrokes,com.au to make it three wins on the trot.
The Tony McEvoy trained Sunlight is the only other runner under double figures at $2.60 with the nearest to the top two fancies being the High Ratio and Lake District Girl at $21.