NATURE STRIP RETURNS TO WINNERS ENCLOSURE

Chirs Waller trained Nature Strip was back to his best as he took out the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes up the straight at Flemington on Saturday

Pairing with current Victorian Jockeys Premiership leader Jamie Kah for the first time Nature Strip cruised through the race stalked long term leader Pippie before powering clear in the final 100m to win. 

The doubters would have been looking at every other runner in great detail after a 4 race winless streak as well as flopping massively on his return just 12 months ago had caused many punters to question the stallion's future. 

Jamie Kah had only picked up the ride aboard the Waller runner due to Covid-19 protocols meaning regular rider James McDonald was staying in Sydney. She had paired with Nature Strip earlier in the week and seemed to have the winning touch as he held on from a fast finishing September Run.

Kah on the day secured a treble on the Flemington  card which helped extend her lead at the top of the Jockey’s premiership and took out her 4th Group 1 of the season.

An emotional Kah said post-race that while Nature Strip wanted to lay in late, she was happy to let him roll where he was happy.

"I just let him do whatever he wanted to do then. It was beautiful earlier. Pippie set a nice hot tempo and he actually relaxed and dropped the bit. They’re going to do that when they run that quick but it just set up beautifully for him. He wanted to drift in and roll in a bit late but I didn’t really care. I just let him do what he wanted to do," she said.

"He was in a good mood. He was in a good mood when I trialled him. I think he’s just getting better with age.

One to watch going forward has to be second place runner and Nature Strip’s stablemate September Run who came flying home in the final 100m to go from 5th to 2nd and beat home Swats That for the Corstens stable. 

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