“He’s won a lot of races and it looks like he has matured as a racehorse,” Waller said.
Waller – the horse’s fifth trainer after he went through Robert Smerdon, Robert Hickmott, John Sadler and Darren Weir’s hands – said Nature Strip was one of the fastest horses in the world right now and his owners were keen to take him overseas.
However he admitted the stunning win had left him uncertain exactly what race at Ascot would suit Nature Strip.
“Based on that I don’t know. We were going for the King’s Stand but maybe the Diamond Jubilee,” Waller said.
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes was the race champion mare Black Caviar won in 2012, having twice on the Sprint Classic at Flemington.
Nature Strip’s victory came after he ran a brave fourth in The Everest setting up the race for the Waller-trained Yes Yes Yes to break the track record and the trainer said he might also compete in that race again next year.
It is the second time jockey James McDonald and Waller have combined to win the race having won the race with Delectation in 2015.
McDonald could not believe how well the horse travelled in the run.
“He’s just gone to a new level this preparation, he’s only had one disappointment and that was first up but apart from that faultless. He’s a star,” McDonald said.
“He was just airborne, floating across the ground, I slipped him a little bit more rein at the 300 metre mark and looked at the big screen and thought ‘oh no I’m six (lengths) in front’ but he was still just going through his gears. He’s a star, he ran it out so strongly.”
Last year’s winner Santa Ana Lane did not fire having run second in The Everest and assistant trainer Sam Freedman said the horse wasn’t his usual self.
“He is probably just at the end of his preparation,” Freedman said.
“Normally when they get to the outside he really pings.”
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.