Third time's a charm.
That's what the five Horsham residents who part-own Nature Strip will hope is the case on Saturday; when their Champion racehorse aims to win The Everest in its third attempt.
In 2019 Nature Strip came fourth in the world's richest turf race, before finishing a disappointing 7th in 2020 as the pre-race favourite. It is currently the second favourite to win this year's race, behind reigning winner Classique Legend.
The star sprinter is part-owned by Horsham's Craig Garland, Geoffrey Dumesny, Craig Bennett, Frank Giampaolo, and the late David McCluskey.
Alongside stablemate Home Affairs, Nature Strip's final preparation for Saturday's race has included a 900m jumpout, as well as some trackwork on Monday morning.
Speaking to Racing.com on Monday Nature Strip's trainer Chris Waller said that the six-time Group-One winner is showing good signs ahead of The Everest.
"I loved his jumpout how he (Nature Strip) took a sit off Home Affairs, showing that he's a little bit more tractable than he was last year and I think in this year's race it will be important, it will be a tough 1200 (metres)," Waller said.
2021 has been a good year for Nature Strip who has won six races from its nine starts, including two Group-One victories.
Its last race came on September 18 when it narrowly went down to rival sprinter Eduardo at Royal Randwick.
"Nature Strip hasn't put a foot wrong since his last start run," Waller said.
"He's fitter, third up he normally peaks which is what we expect on Saturday.
"There's a prospect for a bit of rain, that won't dishearten Nature Strip, nor Home Affairs."
James McDonald has retained his spot as Nature Strip's jockey for Saturday's race at Royal Randwick.
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