Exciting young sprinter Nature Strip is still chasing a slot in the 2018 version of the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick during the Sydney Spring Carnival.
Nature Strip made it two wins from two runs for the Darren Weir stable with a comfortable win in the Listed $120,000 A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday.
At his previous start the Nicconi three year old scored on debut for the Weir stable with a four and a half lengths victory in an 1100m three year old Handicap down the Flemington straight on June 23.
Nature Strip has now won six of his nine race start and part owner Rod Lyons said that the ownership group had knocked back an offer of $2 million for the geldings in the hope that the would be snapped up by one of the slot holders for The Everest who haven’t yet acquired a runner.
“Yes we have (had offers). The guys in it are a bunch of mates, some characters from Hamilton,” Lyons told RSN 927’s Racing Pulse on Monday.
“We never saw the money… we were offered $2million for him, but was never really going to sell.
“All the blokes in the horse are rich bar me; I’m the only poor man.
“He’s won half a million already, and you’d think if he stays sound and fit and trouble free, he can race until he’s seven or eight, he’s every chance of winning that sort of money.”
“The Everest would be terrific if we got in it. The excitement and the hype, that would be great.
“But if we don’t, no-one is going to slash their wrists. There’s some terrific races for him here.”
Nature Strip will continue on in his current preparation and will step out again in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 28 and face up against some tough opposition that might include Vega Magic, Danon Liberty, Ardrossan and Inn Keeper.
“We’re going to head towards the Bletchingly,” Lyons told AAP.
“And if we don’t get a slot before the Bletchingly and he wins the Bletchingly and there’s any slots left maybe we get one after that.
“If we don’t, hopefully his record will be so much better this time next year we won’t have to worry about all this cat and mouse stuff.”
Nature Strip is included in the betting for The Everest with Ladbrokes.com.au and is marked at $16 alongside of Vega Magic while the multiple Group 1 winner Trapeze Artist is the early $4.50 favourite just ahead of last year’s winner Redzel at $6.
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Trapeze Artist, $6 Redzel, $10 In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane, $12 Kementari, $14 Shoals, $16 Vega Magic, Nature Strip, $18 English, Brave Smash, $26 Harry Angel, Menari, Redkirk Warrior, $31 Equilateral, Happy Clapper, $34 Alizee, Chautauqua, Estijaab, Le Romain, Viddora, $41 Winx, Hot King Prawn, Blue Point, Bound For Nowhere, $51 or better the rest.