Speed machine Nature Strip scores the narrowest of wins in the 2019 Group 1 $700,000 OOH!Media Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill today.
James McDonald let Nature Strip use his natural speed and after 200m the chestnut gelding was high flying it out in front setting a fast tempo.
McDonald lengthened the reins again on the home turn and Nature Strip had a commanding two lengths lead when heads were turned for home.
Just when it looked like the Chris Waller trained Nature Strip had the Galaxy comfortably in his keeping, Tommy Berry has been able to produce Pierata from back in the field and the pair of top quality sprinters crossed the line together, giving the judge a tough task to split them.
The judge’s final decision gave Nature Strip ($4.20 favourite) the first prize by the narrowest of margins over Pierata ($10) with Easy Eddie ($16) running a bold race to claim third place.
The top weight Redzel ($4.80) struggled under the 59.5kg and faded in the straight to finish eighth.
“Great work by James McDonald, he’s put a lot of time into the horse (Nature Strip) at home, on the training tracks and in his trials,” Waller said.
“He’s a lovely horse to train, we just have to get into his head on race day that the winning post is not at the 300m mark.
“From the wide draw and the wet track today there was a lot against us. He needed to be pretty tough and he was.”
The win by Nature Strip in the Galaxy gave Waller his third Group 1 win for the day after victories by The Autumn Sun in the $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and by Winx in the $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
“It’s pretty good isn’t it, especially when one of them is Winx. But full credit to all of them, it’s a great raceday. It’s one for the real special race days in the world, it’s a day for everyone to remember,” Waller said.