Nature Strip to tune-up for TJ with trial

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Nature Strip

Chris Waller has revealed how close he came to giving Nature Strip a shot at history in The Galaxy before pulling the plug at the eleventh hour.

The star sprinter was allotted top weight of 59.5kg, an impost no horse has carried to victory since the race was first run in 1972.

Waller admitted he was tempted to start Nature Strip in the Galaxy and left him in the field until just before the acceptance deadline at 9am last Wednesday.

“At one minute to nine he was still in the field,” Waller said.

“He might have beaten them, but at what cost? How hard do they have to break themselves to get there and placing him in weight-for-age races is obviously the easy thing to do.

“The owners were good. They said, ‘look, we don’t mind if he gets beaten’, which is good from them and I don’t either.

“But I’ve got to make sure he’s at his best in two weeks time.”

In the absence of Nature Strip, his last-start Challenge Stakes conqueror Eduardo was the 57kg top weight for the Galaxy and led throughout for a comfortable win.

Waller confirmed Nature Strip would instead step out in a 900m barrier trial at Rosehill on Monday, ahead of his shot at back-to-back wins in the T J Smith Stakes on April 10.

Stablemate Verry Elleegant is unlikely to back up in the Tancred Stakes following her rousing victory over Addeybb in the Group One Ranvet Stakes on Saturday.

“I doubt she will be there, but we’ll let the dust settle,” Waller said.

“I always said we’d go three weeks into the Queen Elizabeth and have a fair crack at it.”

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