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Nature Strip Stokes Up For Spring

Electric sprinter Nature Strip looks in terrific order and ready to return to the track for a big spring after a classy performance in a barrier trial on Tuesday.

Chris Waller’s sprinting star completed the 900m trial with ease, heading to the front with his customary speed from the barriers, leading all the way to chalk up a 5.5 length victory over Fituese, Vangelic, and Hungry Heart.

He clocked a time of 54.69 seconds, improving from his first trial of 55.98 two weeks ago, indicating that the son of Nicconi is gearing up nicely for his return.

“He obviously trialling very well, he always trials well,” jockey James McDonald told Sky Racing.

“He has definitely come back in good order, hasn’t lost any of his speed, if anything he’s a bit smarter in the way he’s executing things. Couldn’t be more pleased with him.

“He’s definitely more relaxed going around to the start, canters off on a loose rein and walks around, nothing fazes him.

“He seems to me, even thought he can be a little fractious in the stalls from time to time, he’s jumping away the first 100m really good.

“He’s just loving his work, he’s just doing it with his ears pricked and he’s enjoying it.”

Trainer Chris Waller has said the likely first up destination for the sprinting star will be the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Rosehill on September 5, before heading to the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 3, his last stop before lining up in The Everest on October 17.

Nature Strip is currently the $3.50 favourite for The Everest.