There were 12 nominations for the feature sprint at Randwick on Saturday, the $500,000, Group 2 The Shorts (1100m), with the Chris Waller trained Nature Strip the $2.60 opening favourite with TAB. The champion sprinter is also the $4.50 favourite for the $15m, TAB Everest (1200m) at the same track on October 16th.
Nature Strip opened his spring with a win in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes over 1000m on September 4th, winning by 2 1/2L over Wild Ruler and Trekking as well as carrying 60.5kg under James McDonald.
The Hawkes’ trained Masked Crusader is on the second line of the market at $3.00 after the five-year-old Toronado gelding won his opening salvo in the Group 3 The Heath over 1100m at Caulfield on August 28th. In a rapidly closing sprint up the straight Masked Crusader was 11th at the 400m and got up to win with a 3/4L margin under Jye McNeil. Masked Crusader is also on the second line for The Everest at $5.00.
Following these two in the nominations are Lost And Running at $5.00 - $8.00 for The Everest – Eduardo at $7.00 - $13.00 for The Everest – Rothfire at $$8.00 - $11.00 for The Everest – Gytrash at $11.00 - $15.00 for The Everest. Not nominated for The Shorts is Les Bridge’s 2020 winner of The Everest, Classique Legend, who is at $6.00 on The Everest market.
Waller’s Verry Elleegant (NZ) is the $2.30 favourite for the $1m, Group 1 WFA George Main Stakes (1600m) with Think It Over at $4.50.
Kerry Parker’s Think It Over won the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes over 1600m at Randwick on the 4th over Riodini (NZ) and Montefilia. Riodini is also nominated for Saturday.
The three-year-old fillies step up to 1400m in the $200,000, Group 2 Darley Tea Rose Stakes with 16 nominated including Robert and Luke Price’s Headwater filly Jamea who won the Group 2 Furious Stakes over 1200m on the 4th.
The Course Proper was rated a Good 4 on Monday with the rail to be out 7m from the 1600m to the Winning Post and 4m for the remainder of the circuit.
Sydney’s weather this week has rain forecast for Monday and Tuesday with up to 8mm possible on Monday and 8mm to 15mm on Tuesday with temperatures of 18c. Wednesday through to Friday are forecast to be partly cloudy with 18c to 22c and Saturday is cloudy with 13c to 27c.
Nature Strip and James McDonald winning at Randwick, picture Sportpix.com.au