Nature Strip, ridden by Jamie Kah, wins Lightning Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)

Nature Strip wins Lightning Stakes

13 February 2021

At her first ride on the horse, Jamie Kah urged Nature Strip to produce a memorable first-up performance when he produced a near perfect 1000-metre straight performance in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington.

It was Kah’s fourth Group 1 win and registered yet another Melbourne treble for the city’s leading rider as Nature Strip ran clear inside the final 300 metres and then held off a startling finishing from the Coolmore Stud Stakes winner of last spring September Run to score narrowly.

Kah only won the ride when James McDonald opted to stay in Sydney to ride Verry Elleegant but she handled the sometimes wayward super sprinter brilliantly.

“Just to get on a horse of that calibre,” she said of the thrill of the ride.

“I’ve been very lucky to get Group 1’s so far but to get on a horse like him and for Chris Waller, it’s just…. I couldn’t imagine it and to get the job done is amazing.

“He’s just unbelievable. I wish mum and dad could be here today. It would have been awesome. They had a table by the winning post and they would have been there cheering me on.”

In a race where Bivouac was sent out a $2.15 elect but never really threatened before finishing fifth, Nature Strip ($4.40) held a half length advantage on the line over September Run ($10) with a length and a quarter to fellow filly Swats That in third.

Kah said she did nothing special on the horse that can sometimes spend too much too early.

“I just let him do whatever he wanted to do then,” she explained.

“It was beautiful earlier. Pippie set a nice hot tempo and he actually relaxed and dropped the bit. They’re going to do that when they run that quick but it just set up beautifully for him.

“He wanted to drift in and roll in a bit late but I didn’t really care. I just let him do what he wanted to do.

“He was in a good mood. He was in a good mood when I trialled him. I think he’s just getting better with age. They’ve found the key to him first-up, given him that extra trial and he has to be rock hard fit to run because he runs at such a high cruising speed.

“The team has done an amazing job and I’m the lucky one to be on him.”

Trainer Chris Waller’s Melbourne representative Jo Taylor said: “He showed today exactly why he was Australian Horse of the Year. We didn’t quite see that in the spring but he’s come back here today and stamped his mark.”

As for September Run, she said: “She was just fantastic.”

Glen Boss said he was forgiving of Bivouac: “He was good. A bit fresh and raced a bit closer than I thought and he’s probably a little bit too close to his top in the middle stages so he blew out.

“That’s his first run so he’ll improve. He’s a big colt now, a big heavy bugger so he’s going to take a lot out of that.”

-Andrew Eddy,