In a day of big Group 1 racing the first cab off the rank on Saturday in winning one of the Major races was Nature Strip who jumped to the front from a wide barrier in the $15m Everest and took up a lead three wide in the Randwick feature.
It was like a procession as the likes of Eduardo, Lost and Running and Wild Rule all pushed forward but left Nature Strip to dictate running from the front. The Chris Waller trained runner “When we paid up for the Cox Plate it was just a bit of insurance in case something happened this week with him,” Tregea said.had little choice in his third Everest after drawing barrier 10.
Entering the home straight Nature Strip looked to have plenty in the tank and looked to clear out from the chasing Eduardo at the 300m mark.
The defending champion Classique Legend got going down the outside late and set out after Nature Strip but looked to be too far back.
The real danger came from Team Hawkes trained Masked Crusader who was jumping out of the ground late and came from behind Classique Legend to almost knock off Nature Strip in the final strides but it wasn’t to be.
The final placings read as Nature Strip finishing first at $3.70 with Masked Crusader second and Eduardo battling all the way for third.
Following on from the race, Eduardo’s jockey Nash Rawillier found himself in hot water for breaching the whip rules in the straight.
The accomplished Jockey used the whip 10 times in the final 100m and copped a $20,000 and a 6 meeting suspension for the breach.