Nature Strip firm favourite for Premiere Stakes

TAB have taken Nature Strip’s trial over 900m at Rosehill on Monday morning as the signal to make the Chris Waller trained Group 1 sprinter the $1.80 favourite for the $500,000, Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday. Nature Strip and James McDonald cruised around the trial for sixth.

There were 12 nominations for the Premiere Stakes, a crucial lead-up race for the $15m, TAB Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 17th including Classique Legend  who is on the second line of the Everest market at $5.00 behind Nature Strip at $3.50.

Nature Strip’s preparation has not been conventional after he was beaten by Gytrash in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes over 1000m at Randwick on September 5th and then McDonald being dislodged as Nature Strip reared at the start of a trial at Randwick on the 21st.

As a consequence of that trial Racing NSW stewards’ ordered Nature Strip to trial again which was accomplished on Monday.

Les Bridge’s Classique Legend won the Group 2 The Shorts over 1100m on the 19th and Saturday’s clash will have a major bearing on the Everest market for the next two weeks.

TAB have Libertini and Standout at $11.00 and Fasika at $13.00 for the Premiere.

With the withdrawal on Sunday of the injured Rothfire and an injury query for fellow three-year-old Farnan the Everest market is shaping up between Nature Strip, Classique Legend, Gytrash at $6.00 and Bivouac at $11.00.

Farnan will gallop  between races at the Randwick-Kensington meeting on Wednesday. The colt is currently at $15.00 for The Everest.

The fields and barrier draws for the $1m, Group 1 TAB Epsom Handicap (1600m) and $750,000, Group 1 Heineken The Metropolitan (2400m) will be out on Tuesday morning with the balance of acceptances for the nine race programme released on Wednesday.

The Course Proper is rated a Good 4 on Monday and the rail will be out 3m for the entire circuit.

Sydney’s weather this week is forecast to be partly cloudy through to Thursday with temperatures to 25c and possible showers with up to 2mm on Wednesday. Friday and Saturday are forecast to be sunny with 26c and 28c.

Randwick nominations

Course Proper rated a Good 4 on Monday, picture ThoroughbredNEWS