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The Everest Still In Waller's Plans for Nature Strip

Friday, 27th September 2019

Providing Nature Strip with his second Gr1 success, Friday’s night’s Gr1 Moir Stakes (1000m) victory, where he was allowed to stride forward unrestrained, was a relief for connections who have been struggling to figure out the right way to ride the $3.30 favourite. Although locking horns with speedy Ball of Muscle who ended up at the rear of the field, two things seem apparent after the popular win: (1) old habits die hard and Nature Strip is happiest being allowed to lead, and (2) while no doubt able to win over 1200m where he can steal cheap sectionals, he's still a risk to hold off proven Gr1 swoopers over an extra 200m in a high pressure race with a long straight, i.e. The Everest. That’s not an opinion Waller shares, with the champion trainer saying after the race, "I don’t think 1200 metres is a problem. I’d say we’ll just see how it unfolds over the next few days. If he doesn’t get an invite to The Everest, I guess the Schillaci (whose winner will earn the Melbourne Racing Club’s The Everest slot) is the logical choice, but there are plenty of options this time of year.”

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