On the same day as the announcement his stablemate Yes Yes Yes has been retired, Nature Strip has turned in a sparkling barrier trial win at Warwick Farm.
The two sprinters had been due to clash in the Group One Lightning Stakes at Flemington on February 15.
Connections of The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes made the decision on Monday he would be retired to prepare for a stud career after he was found to have a minor tendon issue which could gave developed into something serious.
Trainer Chris Waller will now rely on three-time Group One winning-gelding Nature Strip in the Flemington sprint.
He was a clear winner of Monday’s 900m-trial, beating stablemate Fiesta by 2-3/4 lengths.
He was ridden by Hugh Bowman filling in for regular jockey James McDonald.
“I was really pleased with him,” Bowman said,
“I haven’t ridden him before so it was good to get a feel of him. He was really relaxed.”
Nature Strip has not raced since running away with the Group One Darley Classic on the Flemington straight course in November.