Connections explain Nature Strip loss

Connections explain Nature Strip loss

Odds-on favourite Nature Strip lost Saturday’s $750,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington inside the opening 400 metres according to jockey James McDonald.

The Chris Waller-trained Nature Strip ($1.40 favourite) shared the lead in the seven-horse field which split down the Flemington straight with dual Everest winner Redzel ($7.50) leading the far side.

Nature Strip ran his first 400 metres in 23.94 seconds which was marginally quicker than his final 400 metres of 23.61 seconds and battled into fourth with Gytrash ($21), Redzel and Loving Gaby ($5) getting past him at the finish.

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“He was on the ball, flew out and wanted to get going, albeit he wasn’t miles in front, he was just coasting and doing it strongly,” McDonald said.

“He just got tired the last furlong (200 metres). He was leading all the way up to then.

“It’s what happened last prep as well, he failed first up and then got better with a bit of racing under his belt,” he added.

Waller echoed McDonald’s post-race sentiments. Waller said: “He was a bit fresh and will improve with the run, he just jumped and charged for the first two furlongs (400 metres).”