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Eduardo has upstaged Nature Strip in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes

Eduardo has upstaged Nature Strip in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes and in the process broken the 1000m Randwick track record held by Redzel.

Fresh off claiming the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) down the Flemington straight, it looked like business as normal for Nature Strip from the 400m as he swung for home in the lead under a hold.

Joe Pride’s honest sprinter Eduardo stayed in touch with Nature Strip however and gradually began to wear down the five time Group 1 winner, edging in front right on the line for a narrow first up victory.

“When he got headed I said he’ll fight,” said Pride.

“You could see he was in for the battle. It was an amazing performance.

Eduardo won the Challenge Stakes in a time of 55.20 seconds, a new track record for the Randwick 1000m, eclipsing the previous time of 55.73 held by dual Everest winner Redzel produced when winning the 2018 renewal of the Challenge Stakes.

Randwick track records and the Challenge Stakes go hand in hand with the Joe Pride stable who has won the event twice previously with De Lightning Ridge (2010) and Rain Affair (2012).

“They’ve carved up the track record,” Pride said.

“That is the second time I’ve done that. De Lightning Ridge broke the track record in the Challenge.

“He deserves all the accolades, great work from the team at home. Absolutely pumped – amazing.”

Now a multiple Group 2 winner, connections of Eduardo have Group 1 goals well in their sights for the remainder of the autumn carnival, namely the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 20.

“He’s going to be hard to beat in that Galaxy,” Pride said.

“I hope the handicappers are kind to him.”

“He’s a 7yo racing more like a 5yo. He’s 100% sound horse. I’m so excited.”

Written by Alex Steedman

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