Champion sprinter Nature Strip and Caulfield Cup winner Durston will spearhead coach Chris Waller’s all-star group for the Sydney autumn carnival.
Reigning Horse of the Yr Nature Strip is a rising nine-year-old however earned the rating of world’s greatest sprinter in 2022 along with his Group 1 wins within the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick and the King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot.
However Nature Strip is displaying no indicators that age is catching up with him, in response to Waller.
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“I am embarrassed to say Nature Strip seems excellent, he seems pretty much as good as ever,” Waller stated.
“I do know individuals will assume we simply say it however the horse seems wonderful.”
Coach Chris Waller could not be happier with how champion sprinter Nature Strip seems as he prepares for the autumn carnival. Image: Getty Photos
Waller confirmed Nature Strip is being aimed toward an unprecedented fourth successive TJ Smith Stakes throughout The Championships in autumn however he stopped in need of locking in a return to England’s Royal Ascot subsequent 12 months.
“Royal Ascot has been very briefly mentioned (with the possession group) but it surely relies upon very a lot on how Nature Strip goes and what the opposite choices can be found,” Waller stated.
“It is a massive enterprise to take a horse abroad and by way of Nature Strip, it was the right time in his profession to go this 12 months.
“However we taking it one preparation at a time with him now and the plans are to go to the Lightning Stakes then third-up into the TJ Smith Stakes is the almost certainly situation.
“We’ll let the horse do the ‘speaking’ after the TJ. We quit loads to go there (Royal Ascot) and we should have a look at what’s left if he went once more.”
Nature Strip is the $4.50 favorite with TAB Fastened Odds to win the TJ Smith Stakes whereas Durston is on third line of betting at $15 for the Group 1 $1.5 million Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 25.
Caulfield Cup winner Durston is being aimed towards the Tancred Stakes throughout the autumn carnival. Image: Getty Photos
Durston hasn’t raced since profitable the Group 1 Caulfield Cup again in October when he completed quick to run down subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Gold Journey.
The in-form Durston was dominated out of the Melbourne Cup after failing a CT scan however the gelding returned to Waller’s Rosehill stables final Friday to organize for an autumn carnival marketing campaign.
“Durston seems a pleasant Tancred Stakes horse to me,” Waller stated.
Waller additionally has massive plans for increase import El Bodegon, who ran so nicely at his Australian debut when third to Anamoe within the Cox Plate.
“Our goal race with El Bodegon has all the time been the Queen Elizabeth Stakes,” Waller stated.
“When he received the Group 1 in France, it was all the time our plan to set him for the Queen Elizabeth. The Cox Plate was mainly a ‘fill-in time’ race.”
Waller can be smitten by his steady’s youthful expertise rising as autumn carnival prospects subsequent 12 months, together with Group 1-winning three-year-olds Zougotcha (Flight Stakes), Madame Pommery (Thousand Guineas) and Manzoice (Victoria Derby).
“The steady is in a rebuilding part however I feel we’ve a pleasant group for autumn,” Waller stated.
“We even have some promising two-year-olds simmering away and able to race early within the New Yr.”