Nature Strip cruises to trial victory

By: Tuesday 21 January 2020

Star sprinter Nature Strip has shown he is on target for a first-up tilt at the Lightning Stakes at Flemington where he can add a fourth Group One win to his record.

Nature Strip cruised to a barrier trial win at Warwick Farm on Tuesday.

He easily led the 900m-heat on the course proper and went to the line hard-held under James McDonald with no signs of over-racing which has been the case in the past.

White Moss was second throughout and just maintained that position from Nature Strip's Chris Waller-trained stablemate Yes Yes Yes who worked home strongly ahead of Godolphin mare Alizee.

Waller has Royal Ascot ambitions for both Nature Strip and Everest winner Yes Yes Yes.

Nature Strip is slated to resume in next month's Group One Lightning Stakes at Flemington while three-year-old Yes Yes Yes may also run in the race or begin his campaign in Sydney.

While the glamour sprinters took centre stage, the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable continued to show the depth of its two-year-old ranks with two trial winners, expensive colt Setanta and Goddess.

A $2.3 million yearling, Setanta is a brother to Merchant Navy who was originally trained by Maher while Goddess is a half-sister to the Tony and Calvin McEvoy-trained Group One winner Manuel.

Aaron Purcell prepared Merchant Navy to win the 2017 Coolmore Stud Stakes while Maher served a suspension.

The colt was later transferred to Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien and won the 2018 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Setanta beat the Waller-trained Breeders' Plate winner Global Quest in the 808m heat while stablemate Goddess beat the Waller-trained September Run in her heat.

Waller will bring out more of his big guns at a set of trials at Randwick on Thursday including Epsom/Golden Eagle winner Kolding and Metropolitan Handicap winner Come Play With Me.

Fan favourite Happy Clapper from the Pat Webster stable will make his first appearance ahead of the autumn in the second of two 900m-heats on the course proper.