Written by Paul Vettise
The Australian Turf Club has finalised the deal to be represented by the speed merchant Nature Strip (NIcconi) in the $13 million TAB Everest at Royal Randwick. The electric sprinter got the seal of approval for the October 13 feature after his dynamic performance to win the G2 McEwen S. last Saturday.
Trained by the prolific Darren Weir stable, the 4-year-old has won his last four starts and is due to step out next in the G1 Moir S., at Moonee Valley at the Friday night meeting on September 28.
Australian Turf Club Director Phil Morley said Nature Strip was one of the most talked about and promising sprinters in Australian racing.
“We are delighted to bring another dimension to Everest with a sprinter of the promise of Nature Strip.” – Phil Morley.
“We are delighted to bring another dimension to Everest with a sprinter of the promise of Nature Strip. ATC had great success with the Darren Weir stable in last year’s TAB Everest and we again look forward to joining with him to promote our racing and the world’s richest race on turf.
“Nature Strip broke a course record at his most recent win and will add an X-factor to the field. We believe Nature Strip is an excellent winning chance and will add to the quality and character of the race.’’
ATC’s General Manager Wagering and International James Ross, who was involved in the selection process, said Nature Strip had been given a clean bill of veterinary health on Tuesday.
“That was done and he’s a really exciting sprinter and his profile suggests he keeps climbing in his performance figures.
“In relation to a rider in the Everest, both us and Darren Weir will work together to get the best possible rider. As a slot holder, we will put our preferences into the discussion.” – James Ross.
“In relation to a rider in the Everest, both us and Darren Weir will work together to get the best possible rider. As a slot holder, we will put our preferences into the discussion.
“We worked hard this year to look at a number of international options, that didn’t pan out for us but we’re getting closer. We did a lot of work promoting the race and to see US Navy Flag running for Coolmore is great.”
As part of the ATC’s slot partnership, a percentage of any prize-money earned from the TAB Everest will be donated to a worthy cause through the ATC Foundation.