The Championships Day 1: Nature Strip described as ‘world’s best sprinter’ after starring role

Horse Racing James McDonald Nature Strip TJ Smith Stakes
James McDonald after winning the TJ Smith Stakes on Nature Strip at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart/Racing and Sports

By Nicholas Godfrey

Randwick (April 10): TJ Smith Stakes G1 A$2.5m (£1.39m) 6f, turf, 2yo+
Nature Strip (Chris Waller/James McDonald)

Jockey James McDonald was left describing Nature Strip as ‘WBS’ – that’s ‘world’s best sprinter’ – after Nature Strip made it back-to-back wins with an accomplished performance in Sydney’s premier sprint.

Having tracked speedy Eduardo, the six-year-old took command after they turned for home and drew away easily for a two-length victory. He now has six G1 wins to his name, having also won Melbourne’s top sprint, the Lightning Stakes, in February.

‘Unbelievable’ – Jamie Kah shines as Nature Strip flashes home in Lightning

Chris Waller (trainer): “He’s a super horse and just showed another dimension today. I think he’ll be at The Everest, he’ll be at The Everest for sure. So it’ll all be revolved around that. It’s actually quite deep into the spring so there’s the chance to take him to Queensland if we need to.”

James McDonald (jockey): “We can only worry about one horse and that’s why throughout the week, all this talk of ‘we’re going to upset him’ – it is just a load of rubbish. Just ride your horse and we’ll worry about ours. They’re not going to upset him anymore. He is pretty push button. I can safely say WBS (World’s Best Sprinter) for him.”


Inglis Sires’: Anamoe is the ‘Rolls-Royce of two-year-old racing’

Randwick (April 10): Inglis Sires’ G1 A$1m (£560,000) 7f, turf, 2yo
Anamoe (James Cummings/James McDonald)

James McDonald had a G1 double on the showpiece card – and the jockey was also waxing lyrical after an outstanding display from Anamoe, whom he described as the “Rolls Royce of two-year-old racing after an outstanding display. Runner-up from a wide draw in the Golden Slipper, Godophin’s son of Street Boss overwhelmed his rivals in the straight before winning eased down.

James Cummings (trainer): “We were a bit tougher on him getting up to 1,400m. In fact I’ve been tough on him his whole racing career and there’s nothing that I’ve thrown at him that has been too hard for him. He continues to just reach new heights every time I raise the bar.”

James McDonald (jockey): “He is a marvellous horse. What he did in the Slipper was just incredible. To come and do that to good quality horses in a Group 1 is just incredible. He is the Rolls-Royce of two-year-old racing. He oozes a lot of class. He is a very enthusiastic colt, very push-button.”


Doncaster Mile: Jamie Kah delivers Cascadian on the line

Randwick (April 10): The Star Doncaster Mile G1 hcap A$3m (£1.67m) 1m, turf, 3yo+
Cascadian (James Cummings/Jamie Kah)

Leading Melbourne jockey Jamie Kah became the first woman to ride a G1 winner for Godolphin as she secured her fifth career success at the top level on Cascadian in the A$3m (£1.67m) highlight of Day 1 of The Championships.

With a beautifully timed challenge, former Andre Fabre-trained Cascadian got up on the line to beat Icebath by a head.

Godolphin trainer James Cummings landed a treble on the lucrative card, also winning both two-year-old races with Anamoe and Paulele.


Randwick (April 10): Australian Derby G1 A$2m (£1.11m) 1m4f, turf, 3yo
Explosive Jack (Ciaron Maher & David Eustace/John Allen)

Tom Marquand narrowly missed out on victory in a thrilling finish to Australia’s senior three-year-old contest as his mount Young Werther was caught in the final stride by Explosive Jack. The winner, who scored by a half-head, has taken an unorthodox route to the Classic, having landed the Tasmanian Derby and competed on the NSW provincial circuit.

John Allen (Explosive Jack’s jockey): “He is a tough horse, the distance was never going to be a worry with him. Once we got to the outside, he really let down and he tries his guts out, this horse.”

Tom Marquand (Young Werther’s jockey): Huge performance. It was a shame that the winner came the other side of Lion’s Roar because if next door he probably would have knuckled down and beaten him. It was a shame.”

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