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Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir is happy with the mid field barrier for his recording breaking sprinter Nature Strip in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley tonight.

Nature Strip, above, is the short priced favourite for the 2018 Moir Stakes at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Nature Strip, above, is the short priced favourite for the 2018 Moir Stakes at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Nature Strip drew barrier seven in the original draw of thirteen acceptors but the Moir Stakes field has been reduced to eleven runners following the scratching of his stablemate Voodoo Lad and the Robbie Laing trained Missrock.

Nature Strip jumped from the inside gate when he set a new Moonee Valley track record for the 1000m with his all the way win in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes three weeks ago.

Weir said that Damian Lane doesn’t have to lead on Nature Strip but if the Nicconi four year old ends up in front he won’t be worried.

“I think the barrier draw (seven) is probably ideal,” Weir told racing.com.

“He can just roll out and if they are going hard, he might be able to get in behind him but if not, he’ll be outside the leader. I am also happy to lead as well.”

Nature Strip is undefeated since joining the Weir stable and will be chasing his fifth win on the trot in the Moir Stakes.

Pre-post betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Nature Strip as the $1.90 favourite for the Moir Stakes while stablemate Brave Smash is marked as a $12 chance.

Hugh Bowman takes the ride on Brave Smash who will jump from barrier ten.

Both of Weir’s Moir Stakes runners hold slots for the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 with Brave Smash running for Chris Waller Racing while Nature Strip has been signed up by the ATC.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.