Nature Strip too slick in star-studded trial
Three of the leading contenders for the Group One TJ Smith Stakes have clashed in a barrier trial, eight days out from the $2.5 million sprint at Randwick.
Triple Group One winner Nature Strip, defending TJ Smith champion Santa Ana Lane and dual Everest winner Redzel went around in a 1050m-trial on Friday morning at Randwick with Nature Strip cruising to a 1-1/4-length win.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Santa Ana Lane charged home late for second with Redzel a close third.
Tim Clark was aboard Santa Ana Lane, with the Sydney jockey picking up the ride from Mark Zahra for Saturday week’s weight-for-age TJ Smith (1200m) with Melbourne jockeys prohibited from interstate travel during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) March 26, 2020
Nature Strip and Santa Ana Lane share the second line of betting with star three-year-old filly Loving Gaby at $6 for the TJ Smith with Newmarket Handicap-winning colt Bivouac $5 favourite and Redzel at $15.
Nature Strip disappointed as the odds-on favourite in the Newmarket but was back to his best to beat Redzel in the Group Two Challenge Stakes earlier this month.