SYDNEY : Co-favourite Nature Strip edged a thrilling finish to win The Everest at the third time of asking in front of a restricted crowd of 10,000 at Sydney's Royal Randwick racecourse on Saturday.
The world's richest race on turf with AUS$15 million (US$11.13 million) in prize money, The Everest was the first major sporting event in New South Wales since the state came out of lockdown on Monday.
The Chris Waller-trained Nature Strip has won six Group 1 races but was fourth and seventh in his previous two attempts to win The Everest.
Jockey James McDonald eased the gelding in front from a wide position early in the 1,200-metre race and stayed the course to scoop the AUS$6.2 million prize.
Masked Crusader and Eduardo pushed Nature Strip hard over the final furlong but had to be satisfied with second and third, taking home cheques for AUS$2.3m and AUS$1.4m respectively.
(US$1 = 1.3475 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)