Nicconi’s Nature Strip Dazzles in Darley Sprint Classic
Fresh from his last start triumph in the $15million The Everest at Randwick, Nature Strip unleashed his brilliance at Flemington on Saturday to score a commanding victory in the Group I VRC Darley Sprint (1200m).
The seven year-old son of Nicconi turned in a virtuoso performance to travel on the pace for James McDonald before engaging his afterburners to leave the field standing.
Nature Strip opened up to win by three and a quarter lengths over gallant Shamus Award mare Swats That, taking his overall record to 19 wins and six seconds from 34 starts with prizemoney of $16 .1 million.
He was contesting this race for the third time, winning in 2019, then finishing second last year to Bivouac and then winning again today for a second time.
His champion trainer Chris Waller was at Flemington to greet his superstar sprinter and was emotional in the aftermath of another outstanding win
“It was good to bring him down here today, it’s a long prep for these horses and to hold them up is a credit to my team. They do a fantastic job, right around Australia and I am very proud of them,” said Waller.
“He’ll have a holiday now, which he deserves and then we’ll find some nice races and maybe look to overseas if the owners are keen to go. We’ve planned it twice before and Covid has put a stop to that.”
Bred by Golden Grove, Nature Strip was passed in as a yearling and is a half-brother to stakes-winner The Barrister from Group III winning Desert Sun (GB) mare Strikeline, who was covered on a December service by Shamus Award last spring.
Nature Strip is the best performer for Widden Stud’s Nicconi, who has relocated to Widden Stud Victoria this spring and stands at a fee of $27,500.