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April 30, 2020

BY RAY THOMAS, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

Nature Strip, the nation’s fastest sprinter, is the first into the field for the $15 million The TAB Everest at Royal Randwick later this year.

The TAB have secured Nature Strip for their slot in the world’s richest turf race, to be run at Royal Randwick on October 17.

This puts trainer and Everest slot-holder Chris Waller in the enviable position of already having his best sprinter safely in The Everest field without having to use his slot.

Nature Strip, the favourite to win Horse of the Year this season after three Group 1 wins including his runaway TJ Smith Stakes success during The Championships at Royal Randwick last month, ran fourth in last year’s The Everest behind stablemate Yes Yes Yes but is arguably a better sprinter now.

The explosive front-runner is TAB’s $4 favourite in latest Everest markets, followed by Alligator Blood and Bivouac at $8, then Pinatubo and Santa Ana Lane at $11.

“It’s really exciting to partner with TAB who have been supporters of The Everest for a long time,” Waller said.

“I’m confident the learnings from Nature Strip competing in The Everest last year will go a long way in 2020.

“With this partnership in place, we can now build a plan for the remainder of the year to give us the best possible chance of success.”

Tabcorp managing director wagering and media Adam Rytenskild said the betting giant is thrilled to have secured Nature Strip for The Everest.

“Each year the race continues to grow in popularity and we are proud to have been involved from the beginning,” he said.

“We went so close with our slot when Santa Ana Lane ran a great second last year and we are confident Nature Strip is the horse to beat this year. We look forward to involving our customers along the journey to race day.”

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