Jockey Ryan Maloney was left singing the praises of Nature Strip after his second successive win at Sandown on Wednesday afternoon and says there is even more to come from him.
Nature Strip impressed when winning in Benchmark 70 company at Moonee Valley back in November, and backed it up by winning by the same margin in yesterday's United Petroleum Handicap (1000m).
Maloney opened up a big lead at the 200m, and with the race in the bag, eased off in the last 50m which allowed second placed Holy Seal to make up a bit of ground, while Street Of Avalon took third.
Maloney was delighted with the win and struggled to contain his excitement after the race.
"He's only got improvement there and he's as good a horse as I've ridden so it's pretty exciting," Maloney said.
Maloney has now suggested the stable want a crack at a Group 1 race next month but before that will be given a chance to race for $250,000 in stakes in a race restricted to Inglis sale graduates at Flemington later this month.
"It will be very exciting to see where he goes," Maloney added. "I think he's going to an Inglis race at Flemington then go to the Oakleigh Plate."
The victory was also a boost for the under-fire trainer Robert Smerdon, who was charged with numerous offences by Racing Victoria stewards earlier in the week.
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