Brilliant Display of Speed by Nature Strip in Rubiton
Mark Smith - Saturday February 9

Making his first start for Chris Waller after transferring from Darren Weir, the speedy Nicconi gelding Nature Strip needed little more than a working gallop around the Caulfield track to win Saturday's Group II Rubiton Stakes (1100m).

Returning to the track after failing in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley back in September last year, Nature Strip was not the best to begin but Damian Lane used his inside barrier to push through to take up the running.

Lane still had a double handful by the time the field turned for home while the trailing pack were all off the bit.

Under a hand ride, Nature Strip came three and a half-length clear over the ever-consistent Jungle Edge (Dubawi), with a further two and a quarter lengths back to Thermal Current (Exceed And Excel) in third. (image Grant Courtney )


"It's hard to tell when it's a horse you know nothing about and all you see is his exposed form," Waller's Melbourne representative Jo Taylor told racing.com.

"As an athlete, you don't really know the horse or his demeanours or what's normal or what is not normal.

"It was fantastic to see him do this today and produce what we know is a class performance that he's capable of producing and now we've got something to build on and we know what we are dealing with as well.

"He was just in a class of his own today."

With his fourth stakes success, Nature Strip advances his record to 9 wins and 2 seconds from 13 starts with earnings of $823,085.

Passed in at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale when failing to make his $120,000 reserve where offered by Golden Grove Stud, Nature Strip is a half-brother to stakes-winner The Barrister from Group III winning Desert Sun (GB) mare Strikeline.

The winner of over $500,000, Strikeline has a 2yo colt by Shamus Award.

She was exported to New Zealand in 2017 where she was covered by Savabeel but unfortunately missed.

Nicconi covered 122 mares at Widden Stud last spring at a fee of $24,750.

Schweppes Rubiton Stakes Gr2 1100m
Caulfield Track: Good(4) Time: 1:03.18
1
3.5
Nature Strip
T: C J Waller J: Damian Lane 57.5
4g Nicconi (AUS) x Strikeline (AUS) (Desert Sun (GB))
2
3.5
Jungle Edge
T: M A Bell J: Dylan Dunn 56
8g Dubawi (IRE) x Jungle Girl (NZ) (Carnegie (IRE))
3
5.8
Thermal Current
T: M Ellerton and S Zahra J: D Dunn 56
8g Exceed And Excel (AUS) x Soaressa (AUS) (Twining (USA))
4
6.0
Voodoo Lad
T: C Maher and D Eustace J: D Oliver 58.5
7g I Am Invincible (AUS) x O'Fortuna (AUS) (Gilded Time (USA))
Inglis Scone Select Yearling Sale $36,000
V:Yarraman Park Stud, Scone
B: Segenhoe Thoroughbreds
5
6.2
Illustrious Lad
T: Peter Gelagotis J: A Darmanin 56
7g I Am Invincible (AUS) x Industrious (AUS) (Zeditave (AUS))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $40,000
V:Yarraman Park Stud
B: ANTHONY PANOZZO
6
11.2
Tavisan
T: M G Price J: M J Dee 53
3c Tavistock (NZ) x Evanescence (NZ) (Volksraad (GB))
NZB Premier Yearling Sale $135,000
V:Hallmark Stud
B: Ontrack Thoroughbreds