Home Horse RacingAustralia Nature Strip Takes the G1 TJ Smith
World class sprinter Nature Strip made it back-to-back G1 TJ Smith wins and firmed into a $4.50 favourite for the $15m TAB Everest with another devastating display of speed at Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships.

The Premier Yearling Sale graduate gave his rivals little chance, stalking the speed before producing his customary devastating turn of foot to secure career win No.16 at start No.30.

Nature Strip (Nicconi) defeated fellow Premier Sale yearling Masked Crusader in a quinella for Inglis-sold graduates.

Nature Strip is one of 60 individual G1 winners offered through an Inglis sale ring since 2018.

Remarkably his win today took his career earnings to almost $8m.

Nature Strip (pictured) will now likely head to Brisbane for a winter campaign before “most definitely’’ returning for a third attempt at this year’s The Everest, according to trainer Chris Waller.

Breeder Sean Buckley offered Nature Strip for auction through the 2016 Premier Yearling Sale and fondly remembers him as a young horse.
“He was beautiful, always so calm and relaxed with such a good temperament,’’ Buckley said.

“And now look at him – he’s the best in the world.

“I’ve offered and sold a lot of Stakes winners and I hope to do it for a long while to come too.’’

Nature Strip has now won six G1 races, a phenomenal achievement.

Meanwhile a year after winning the Australian Derby on Day 1 of The Championships, Quick Thinker (So You Think) returned to the winners’ stall with victory in the G2 Chairman’s Quality at Randwick.

The win is Quick Thinker’s fifth from just 18 starts and took his earnings to $1.2m.

Bred by Andrew Bocock and trained by New Zealanders Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Quick Thinker is a $100,000 Easter Yearling Sale buy for Hubie de Burgh, from the Coolmore draft.

Quick Thinker – raced by Terry Henderson’s OTI Racing and partners – will back up in next week’s $2m G1 Sydney Cup next Saturday, for which he is a $15 chance with TAB.

And it was a case of so close yet again for Classic Sale graduate Icebath, running the narrowest of seconds in the G1 Doncaster Mile.

The Brad Widdup-trained 4YO looked like she was going to claim her first G1 when jockey Jay Ford surged along the fence at the 200m mark but she was run down by Godolphin’s Cascadian.

Icebath, a $100,000 Classic graduate of Sledmere Stud, will now be spelled.

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