Nature Strip draws perfect Plate gate

Soft start for Sun
February 19, 2019
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Nature Strip could become the shortest-priced winner of the Oakleigh Plate in more than 30 years after the speedster drew ideally in barrier five for the $500,000 sprint on Saturday at Caulfield.

Nature Strip faces a full field of 18 plus four emergencies in the feature sprint but the soft draw means the galloper, who is touted as the country’s fastest, will have every opportunity to snare his first Group 1.

The last-start Rubiton Stakes winner is expected to be around even money for Saturday’s famous 1100-metre dash.

Snippets ran at the equivalent of $1.80 when he won the 1988 Oakleigh Plate but there have been some famous winners since that did not make it into red figures in the handicap sprint.

Weekend Hussler won in 2008 at the odds of $2.15 while Fastnet Rock was $3.10 when he saluted three years earlier and Schillaci was a $3 chance when he took the race in 1992. –