Nature Strip Owners Plan to Seek Fortune on Flemington Straight Strip
One of the horses Robert Smerdon lost when he was stood down is a young sprinter named Nature Strip.
Nature Strip will jump Saturday coming at Flemington in the Inglis Dash (1100 m), where his connections think his big stride will be ideally suited for racing the Flemington straight.
Nature Strip has never raced on the straight before, but his connections seem to think that he loses momentum in turns, so they made the obvious choice to find races without any turns.
Part-owner Rod Lyons told radio TAB, “He’s such a big strider and goes so quickly that they think the straight will really suit him.He’s still very inexperienced and he has shifted in a bit when they have gone for him but hopefully he is six in front at that stage and it won’t matter.”
The three-year-old son of Nicconi from Strikeline indeed is inexperienced. He has made just four starts, but he has three ones and one two alongside his name, so his connections think that his talent can compensate for his lack of exposure as they target the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes and the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate.
Said Lyons, “He gets 53kg in the Rubiton and he’d have to win the Rubiton to get in the Oakleigh Plate and if he did win the Handicapper is saying he would only get 50-51kg in the Oakleigh Plate.”
While a weight advantage is helpful, the big races Nature Strip would run at Caulfield are both 1100 metres, so any weight advantage the horse would receive would not be as significant were staying races involved.
Nature Strip’s owners are of the opinion that a weight advantage would make up for the horse’s inexperience and he will face hardened sprinters in the Rubiton and the Oakleigh.
If the owners’’ plans do come to fruition, Ryan Maloney will have to surrender the seat to a lighter rider. Nature Strips runs as Moonee Valley and Sandown had him lugging 60 kg or more.
The plan for now is to have Craig Willems replace Maloney and Williams has ridden for nature Strip’s ownership group, Robert Hickmott is now the trainer of Nature Strip.