Clash of Sunlight and Nature Strip at Morphettville worth Attention

A Listed race would not normally receive much of our attention, but the 2018 UBET Lightning Stakes on July 28 at Morphettville in Adelaide feature a head-to-head meeting between Nature Strip and Sunlight.

Sunlight was the winner of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at Gold Coast January past and has since added the Group 2 Silver Slipper at Rosehill and the Group 3 Canadian Club Magic Night Stakes at Rosehill.

Sunlight beat Estijaab in the Silver Slipper, but Estijaab returned the favour by winning the Group 1 Golden Slipper in March, so Estijaab has the upper hand when it comes to casual footwear.

In just seven races, Sunlight has won five and has never finished worse than third. She has already earned over $2.1 million, so it would appear that without doubt, trainer Tony McEvoy has a boomer in his stables.

The showdown with Nature Strip promises to be a classic.

The young gelding running out of Darren Weir’s operation has been accumulating some impressive results, winning six times. His one poor result was a fourth in the Group 2 UBET Euclase Stakes at Morphettville.

His best showing to date was a Listed quality win at Flemington early in July 2018, so this is a horse meant for the long term and Weir is shepherding him through the early stages of what could be a long and promising career.

It had appeared as though Weir were going to send Nature Strip out in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stake on July 28 at Caulfield, but it would seem as though he has decided that hunting Sunlight’s scalp would do more for Nature Strip.

Nature Strip owner Rod Lyons supported the change in targets and Weir’s stable foreman Jarrod McLean told reporters, “We’ve had a lot of success in South Australia this season and we continue to look at their program for suitable options for our horses.”

It would appear that the scheme is that beating Sunlight would prove a strong argument for a slot for Nature Strip in The Everest.

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