The road to a possible Royal Ascot assignment commenced for the Chris Waller trained Nature Strip at Warwick Farm on Tuesday with a win in a Group and Listed Trial over 900m on the Course Proper.
The five-year-old Nicconi gelding under James McDonald was well held, but still cruised to a 1 1/4L win over a star field with White Moss (Mossman) and Kathy O’Hara second and Yes Yes Yes (Rubick) and Nash Rawiller third, the margin a long neck.
Alizee and Hugh Bowman were fourth with Kubrick and Tommy Berry fifth. The time was 53.57 on the Soft 6 track with the final 600m in 34.47.
McDonald sent Nature Strip to the lead over White Moss, who backed up her trial win over 900m at Rosehill on January 14th, with the stablemate and The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes in third. The order did not change for the trip with Rawiller allowing the three-year-old Yes Yes Yes to close on White Moss over the final 50m.
Nature Strip was last seen when blitzing the field under McDonald in the Group 1 VRC Classic over 1200m at Flemington on November 9th.
Fourth to Yes Yes Yes in The Everest at Randwick, Nature Strip stepped up a gear to win by 3 1/4L in a world class performance rated 128 by Timeform. The time of 1.09.23 and the final 600m of 33.08 franked the win.
It is back to Flemington for Nature Strip to start his 2020 campaigning in the $750,000, Group 1 WFA Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) on February 15th. On Monday TAB opened their pre-noms market for the Lightning with Nature Strip the $3.00 favourite, however by mid-morning on Tuesday after the Warwick Farm trial he was quoted at $2.50.
A serious lineup in Trial 1 with Nature Strip clear by a length and a half under a nice hold from @mcacajamez followed by White Moss & 2019 #TheTABEverest winner Yes Yes Yes.— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) January 20, 2020
Alizee finished well to cross the line 4th & Kubrick came in behind them 5th @cwallerracing @racing_nsw pic.twitter.com/WhmRYrVljs