Chris Waller has locked in Royal Ascot plans for The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes while Nature Strip remains a serious chance to join his stablemate on the international stage.
The top sprinters are both slated to return in the Group One Lightning Stakes at Flemington and are continuing to build well towards their first-up goal.
Yes Yes Yes finished third to Nature Strip in a recent barrier trial and Waller said he had taken improvement from the hit-out.
“Most pleasing was the progression he made from that trial which was evident in a strong piece of pace work earlier this week,” Waller said.
“I plan to give him another solid piece of fast work in the next few days and he will then travel to Melbourne ahead of a scheduled jump-out on February 7.”
Yes Yes Yes will jump out at Flemington and while he won his only start there as a two-year-old for disqualified trainer Darren Weir, Waller is keen to give him more straight racing experience ahead of the Lightning.
The major Royal Ascot sprints are run on a straight course.
“Following that race, he will be set for Royal Ascot where we look forward to showcasing his immense talent on the international stage,” Waller said.
Nature Strip has not raced since rounding out his spring with a comprehensive Group One win in the VRC Classic and Waller says the Lightning is an obvious option given the sprinter’s unblemished Flemington record.
James McDonald has been confirmed for the mount.
“I am yet to decide on where he will run subsequent to the Lightning but at this stage he has returned in excellent order, remains very relaxed and continues to mature each preparation which is very positive,” Waller said.
The Lightning Stakes is on February 16.
Waller also has star miler Kolding resuming in the Expressway Stakes at Randwick on Saturday while Breeders’ Plate winner Global Exchange will start his 2020 Golden Slipper bid in the Canonbury Stakes.