Course Record for Nature Strip
Boom Nicconi sprinter Nature Strip was in low flying mode at Moonee Valley on Saturday zooming over the 1000 metres of the Group II MVRC Mitty’s McKewen Stakes in course record time.
The Darren Weir trained speedster was kicked up out of barrier one by Mark Zahra to take the lead and powered along at record pace before holding off a determined challenge from runner-up Houtzen to win by a half head in 56.95 seconds.
Triple Group I winner Shoals was a pleasing third at her first run back from a spell some three and three-quarter lengths back and looks on track for The Everest in which she has a slot.
“From our point of view at the speed that they went, it was always going to get tight at the finish,” said Darren Weir.
“With that run under his belt and then the Moir (Group I over 1000m) to bring him on again I don’t think 1200 metres will be a problem.
“He’s the fastest horse I’ve ever trained.”
Passed in at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, where he was offered by Golden Grove Stud, Nature Strip has now won eight of 11 starts earning over $690,000 in prizemoney and his owners are keen to secure a slot for the $13million The Everest.
Bred by Golden Grove, Nature Strip is a half-brother to stakes-winner The Barrister from Group III winning Desert Sun (GB) mare Strikeline.
Fully booked this spring, Nicconi covered 200 plus books of mares in his past two seasons and has had a fee rise this year up to $24,750. Nature Strip is his third stakes-winner this season joining Faatinah and Tony Nicconi.