Sprinting star Nature Strip has defeated a stellar group of nominations to win the 2019/20 Victorian Racehorse of the Year Award, following group 1 victories in the Moir Stakes and the VRC Sprint Classic.
The son of Nicconi was one of only three horses to win multiple group 1 races in Victoria during the season and received 62 votes from the judging panel comprising of 43 members of the racing media and RV’s handicapping team.
The award is judged on performances on Victorian tracks only, irrespective of where horses are trained.
It was a hotly contested affair with Nature Strip beating out Japanese superstar Lys Gracieux who attracted 57 votes for her dominant Cox Plate win, while Melbourne Cup hero Vow and Declare was next best on 50 votes.
Rounding out the top five were dual Group 1 winner Loving Gaby (38) and Australian Guineas hero Alligator Blood (22).
Nature Strip’s victory provided Chris Waller with his fourth consecutive Victorian Racehorse of the Year title after Winx’s 2017-2019 three-peat.
“It’s a great privilege, what a horse,” Waller said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be training a few good ones over the past few years but this horse certainly takes it to a takes it to a new level the way he races. He gets the people talking and wow how consistent he’s been over the past year and it’s been a privilege to be a part of his success.”
Nature Strip’s managing owner Rod Lyons said it was a thrill for their superstar sprinter and they can’t wait to see what he can continue to do this spring.
“It’s fantastic on behalf of all the owners we’re absolutely thrilled to bits, we’re delighted,” Lyons said.
“It’s a once in a lifetime horse, it’s a wonderful buzz just to see him run and we can’t wait for him to come back, to win this award was a surprise and it’s wonderful.”