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where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2022-09-17 13:50:11  
Nature Strip wins Everest Warm Up in Style

Chris Waller is never one to make a post-race statement but he didn’t need to as the world’s best sprinter put his TAB Everest rivals on notice, many of which were his rivals on Saturday, with a dominant display in the Group 2 $1 million Bowermans Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick.

The win aside, what pleased Waller most was the eight-year-old’s ability now to settle in behind the speed in a race which he had to do after he was slightly slowly out and crossed by Eduardo and Overpass.

“He displayed that he’s got ringcraft now, to just switch off and do those little things right, and help him be better,’’ Waller said.

“He’s doing it the right way, he’s not breaking his own heart. He used to break other horses’ hearts, sometimes his own.

“It’s a good first-up run, he’ll take good improvement from it and be there in four-weeks time.”

That’s an understatement at its best.

It was more than a good first-up run, it was a demolition as he stalked Eduardo before swinging off his back and racing to a 1-1/2 length win. Overpass rallied to run second and do his chances of an Everest slot no harm with a short ½ head to Lost And Running in third.

The wash-up from the race was that Bjorn Baker is expecting Overpass to earn a slot, Lost And Running showed he’s right on target, Eduardo was solid though had control, Mazu ran an even race with improvement and Masked Crusader ran on as he always does.

Unfortunately the TAB Everest will be without 2020 champ Classique Legend after he pulled up 3/5 lame and trainer Les Bridge told stewards the grey will be spelled, leaving owner Bon Ho without a candidate for his slot.

Waller said he didn’t expect Nature Strip to be so dominant, he was hopeful of a win, and in his own way revelled in the performance the gelding put on for the crowd.

“That’s what people come to the races for, that’s what people come back to the races for,’’ he said.

“Peeling out is easy, accelerating is the hard part. We didn’t expect him to be this good.

“I wasn’t ready for him to run his best race today so to do that he’s exactly where we want him to be.”

Nature Strip took his earnings beyond $19 million in recording his 22nd career win and he has a stranglehold on favouritism for the $15m TAB Everest (1200m) on October 15 at $2.10 with TAB.

Bjorn Baker was both excited and relieved after Overpass proved himself worthy of being considered for the Everest and he firmed to $13.

“We see the Everest as the main aim,” he said.

“He had to do a little bit of work from the start but I think he was strong on the line and 1200m will suit him better and on top of the ground would be better for him.

“We’re going forward with a bit of confidence.”

Racing NSW

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