Nature Strip’s Oakleigh Plate failure

Michael Kruse / 25 February 2019

After over-revving this Nature Strip was very flat

NATURE STRIP through the data

Agonised over what to price Oakleigh Plate favourite NATURE STRIP on Saturday when he was around $2:20 race morning, and while I settled on $2:50 it was with little confidence and as you can see above it had little to do with his talent

I should preface that the following is merely observations of his performances via Vince Accardi’s data and my opinion through it, rather than any knowledge of the animal.

Maybe the horse just had a bad day away from my observations, but here goes:

I assert that he was flat as a tack on Saturday, as it was impossible to back up such a huge first up performance just a fortnight later when 10th

Compare the “apples to apples” of the two runs

To 800   800-400   Last 400  Last 200 Overall Raw time
09/02       +2.7       +6.4         -6.0           -5.3       +4.3    1:03.28
23/02       +3.7       +7.0         -4.6           -4.8       +2.0    1:02.00

What needs to be underlined in these runs is the former was on a – slightly – softer track so the early speed was virtually identical allowing for it (+9.1 first 700 v +10.7 first 700) but and while on each occasion he gassed out late over the last 200, the continuous pressure nor opposition was there to get past him

This is similar to last prep when a monster PB at Moonee Valley when note 1000 instead of 1100 before starting favourite in the Moir and gassing out 20 days later

To 800  800-400  Last 400 Last 200  Overall Raw Time
08/09    +3.4     +6.6         +3.0       +3.0        +7.7     59.96
28/09    +3.9     +5.0         -5.2        -5.4         +0.1     57.68

The BLACK CAVIAR’S and WINX’S of the world have statues made of them because they are once in a lifetime freaks.

(Yes they’ve both been in our lifetime if you want to be pedantic but different distance ranges!)

So just because NATURE STRIP does produce such an explosive and dynamic first up performance doesn’t mean he can simply turn up and do it again a fortnight later like those immortal mares did – and still do with the latter – time after time after time.

So to quote the late great trainer George Hanlon, horses are only human, and what makes the caper so fascinating is that it doesn’t just come down to who’s the fastest, but recovery and race shapes and pressures from others and coping on the day.

Another great in Damon Runyon once said ‘The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”

I agree it’s a great starting point, but as NATURE STRIP showed here as another example it is not necessarily the end result!

What’s it all mean for him though? I’d be wary writing him off freshened in the Galaxy at Randwick next month

“Racetrack” Ralphy Horowitz provides independent form analysis via He uses Vince Accardi’s IVR benchmarking service and together they do the Year Round Carnival podcast review of the weekend’s main races every Monday”

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Michael Kruse
Michael loves all things all horse racing and has been in the game for quite some time. His knowledge in the betting space is second... [Read full bio]

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