Trainer Chris Waller described his speed machine Nature Strip as a ‘Happy Horse’ just a few days out from the 2020 Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Nature Strip, above, is a Happy Horse heading towards the 2020 Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Nature Strip, above, is a Happy Horse heading towards the 2020 Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

“He is a pretty happy horse and I would say he is in a good space,” Waller told racing.com after Nature Strip galloped down the Flemington straight this morning.

“His confidence is at an all-time high and obviously up the straight his record is impeccable.”

Nature Strip is undefeated from four starts down the Flemington straight and will be stepping out in the Black Caviar Lightning for the first time since winning the Group 1 $2m Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the last day of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Waller said that Nature Strip has had an uninterrupted preparation that included two barrier trial wins at Warwick Farm and rounded it off with a gallop down the Flemington straight this morning.

“He had a working gallop, but not too hard, well within himself with James McDonald aboard,” Waller said.

“Trotting back to the 1200m mark, cantered off and just quickened up the tempo from the 800m and again at the 300m and then started to get to top gear.”

“To my eye it looked pretty good. I haven’t spoken to James yet but it took a while to pull him up and he was nice and relaxed when he did pull up and walked back without a care in the world.”

“I’m very happy. Wouldn’t change anything going into it (Black Caviar Lightning).”

Nature Strip is one of thirteen nominations for the Black Caviar Lightning and has been installed as the $1.60 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au with his nearest rival in betting being the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Loving Gaby at $6.50.

Early betting for the 2020 Black Caviar Lightning at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.60 Nature Strip, $6.50 Loving Gaby, $7 Libertini, $8 Redzel, $12 Gytrash, $13 Tofane, $14 I Am Immortal, $26 Despatch, I Am Excited, $31 Miss Leonidas $41 Dirty Work, Gift Of Power, $151 Queen Annabel.

Nominations for the 2020 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp Rating
1 x2862x138x REDZEL G 7 Peter & Paul Snowden 1 58.5kg 116
2 1014x4141x NATURE STRIP G 5 Chris Waller 2 58.5kg 116
3 6422x1212x LOVING GABY F 3 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 3 53.5kg 111
4 1110x4509x DESPATCH G 5 Tony & Calvin McEvoy 4 58.5kg 106
5 368105x77x I AM EXCITED M 5 David Pfieffer 5 56.5kg 106
6 2132x721x0 MISS LEONIDAS M 5 Shaun Dwyer 6 56.5kg 107
7 211x1133x LIBERTINI F 3 Anthony Cummings 7 53.5kg 98
8 152x41011x TOFANE (NZ) M 4 Michael Moroney 8 56.5kg 103
9 117x7x2 I AM IMMORTAL C 3 Anthony Freedman 9 55.5kg 89
10 x113011x2x GYTRASH G 4 Gordon Richards 10 58.5kg 97
11 577561360x QUEEN ANNABEL M 6 Rebecca Kelly 11 56.5kg 82
12 06142x257x GIFT OF POWER (NZ) M 5 Anthony Freedman 12 56.5kg 96
13 36x32441x DIRTY WORK C 3 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 13 55.5kg 70

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.