Waller’s fresh challenge for Nature Strip

Star sprinter Nature Strip will not take his place in the Newmarket Handicap with trainer Chris Waller opting to target rich Sydney sprints and Royal Ascot.

Rumours abounded this week that Nature Strip wouldn’t run in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap and Waller confirmed the change of plans on Wednesday.

Waller said he had been weighing up the best option for Nature Strip next start with his owners.

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Nature Strip will return to Sydney for the Challenge Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“There is obviously the option to run in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap where he would carry 58kg, which will make things very tough for him, giving a lot of weight to some top-class horses,” Waller said.

Please see below an update in relation to Nature Strip and his next run. pic.twitter.com/JkeTZfDN5y

Waller chose to take the option of returning to Sydney with Nature Strip to run in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 7.

Nature Strip was a $1.45 favourite when he resumed in the Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington and faded to finish fourth to Gytrash.

“It has not been an easy decision but we have now made a final call to bring him back to Sydney and prepare him for the Challenge Stakes,” he said.

Waller said Nature Strip had some big targets in the next four months, including the T.J Smith Stakes and a trip to Royal Ascot.

Originally published asWaller’s fresh challenge for Nature Strip

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