ThoroughBred Racing

Waller: Nature Strip the underdog

Waller: Nature Strip the underdog


Chris Waller is happy to deflect some of the mounting pressure upon emerging star Giga Kick ahead of Saturday’s enthralling Champions Sprint return bout with the world’s best Nature Strip.

“It’ll be good to go in as underdog,” he quipped this week in the wake of Giga Kick’s Everest victory.

“I am really looking forward to it. It is going to be some sort of race for him.


“He’s coming up against the likes of Giga Kick again and he is a very exciting horse who has a nice weight advantage and he’ll be very hard to beat.

“It’s not just the three-year-old either. There will be some fine sprinters in the race, so he’ll have to be at the top of his game for sure.”

Nature Strip may have had his colours lowered by Giga Kick in the $15 million The Everest but bookmakers were not buying into Waller’s position that the world’s premier sprinter would not go in as the top elect.

Prize Money
Last 5
4 – 12J.B.McDonaldRAND15 OCT 20221200mEVEREST58.5kg1L$1.90
1 – 13J.B.McDonaldRAND17 SEP 20221100mTHE SHORTS58kg1.4L$2.40
1 – 16J.B.McDonaldASC.14 JUN 20221006mKING’S STAND60.5kg4.5L$3.25
1 – 11J.B.McDonaldRAND2 APR 20221200mT J SMITH58.5kg3.4L$2.30
3 – 4J.B.McDonaldRAND5 MAR 20221000mCHALLENGE58.5kg1.3L$1.70

He was marked the $2 favourite on Monday for the $3 million sprint that has attracted 14 other nominations.

The only other two horses under double figures are Giga Kick ($6) and last start Manikato Stakes winner Bella Nipotina ($9).

On domestic ratings, Nature Strip still enjoys a major break on his rivals and carries a 122 rating into the race following his Royal Ascot win mid-year. Giga Kick’s 114 is next ahead of Bella Nipotina at 112.

As for Nature Strip, Waller said he travelled down to Melbourne on Sunday night and appeared at the stables in great shape.

“He’s really good,” Waller said. “I was there when he came off the truck (at Flemington) and he looks bright and ready to go.”