Hansen's horse faces big day too

Steve Hansen
Steve Hansen
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has the chance to conquer the racing world before the All Blacks continue their World Cup quest against Ireland in Japan tomorrow.

Hansen shares in the ownership of Nature Strip, who will contest the world's richest turf race, The Everest, to be run at Randwick tomorrow.

While Hansen will undoubtedly keep his plan to beat the Irish secret, Nature Strip's trainer Chris Waller is taking a different approach.

The expat New Zealand trainer has been open that he will be instructing rider Tim Clark to only have eyes on the lead, despite his speedster drawing wide in barrier 12.

"He'll have to be going at a pretty high speed to cross an Everest field. but that will certainly be the plan," Waller said.

"I would guess that he'll find the front and that way be in his own rhythm, which will allow him to run his own race without getting fired up."

The same plan worked to perfection in Nature Strip's last start at Moonee Valley.

The galloper sped straight to the lead and held off a line up of finishers that included Everest rival Sunlight, who was third.

Waller also lines up Arcadia Queen and Yes Yes Yes in the $A20million ($NZ 21.5million) feature over 1200m.

The trainer gave a very encouraging report on Arcadia Queen progress as she moved in to race favouritism this week.

"She's very sharp," he said.

Arcadia Queen will start from barrier 3 for star New Zealand-born jockey James McDonald.

"She's a little bit vulnerable at 1200m but she'll certainly be very strong at the end of the race and barrier 3 should allow her to find a nice comfort zone," Waller said.

International performer Santa Anna Lane has battled with Arcadia Queen for the favourites tag throughout the week.

Pierata, in barrier 3, is the next most supported runner.

Redzel, who has landed barrier 7, will attempt a hat-trick of wins in The Everest after winning the first two runnings of the rich sprint.

 

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