Many in the racing industry are eager to find out where star sprinter Nature Strip is going next and if Melbourne's leading jockey Jamie Kah will partner him again, including the in-form rider herself.
Following the pair’s scintillating G1 Black Caviar Lightning victory, Kah has been in contact with the speedster’s trainer Chris Waller and didn’t miss the chance to pitch her case to stay on the five-time Group 1 winner wherever he races next.
“I’d never spoken to Chris before, he called me about an hour ago and we had a little debrief and I just said thank you so much for trusting me with him,” Kah said on After The Last on Monday night.
“I slid that in in the end (of the conversation) I just said so where’s he going next?
“He said I think the media will hate me if I take you off him but we’ll leave that up to the connections.
“Nothing is set yet but I’ll be putting my hand up for sure.”
Kah was full of praise once again for the Australian Horse of The Year following his near perfect performance when they combined to win first up over 1000m at Headquarters.
“I was in awe of him, he’s an amazing animal. We seem to click and get along, I let him do his thing, that’s why I think we get along because I let him do his thing.”
Connections haven’t made a decision yet on the son of Nicconi’s next race, choosing whether to stay in Melbourne for another run in either the $1.25 million Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 6 or the $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on March 19, or head straight up to Sydney on the path once again to the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
Earlier on Monday co-owner Rod Lyons spoke highly of Kah and her performance to win on her first ride on the six year-old, confirming if he has another run in Melbourne she’ll stay on.
Sydney’s leading hoop James McDonald has a strong association with the sprinter having ridden him in eleven of his sixteen runs since he joined Waller’s stable and Lyons said he would once again ride the gelding when he returned to New South Wales.
Lyons also said COVID-19 restrictions meant if was dangerous in booking interstate riders.
“Imagine if we had McDonald on him (in the Lightning) and come Friday, he couldn’t come down because of the lockdown and we’re without a jockey so you’ve got to stick to those that are in the area,” he said.
Lyons said connections were confident Nature Strip was going to produce his best in the Lightning.
“He still ran two seconds last preparation and won $600,000 in prizemoney but he wasn’t quite right,” Lyons said.
“His coat never came through and he was leaving food, which is very unusual for him but this time he has shown none of that. His coat has come through and he as eating up.