Nature Strip to return home ahead of The Everest defence

It was always unlikely, but trainer Chris Waller has confirmed that Nature Strip will not run again at this year’s Royal Ascot carnival.

The world-beating trainer shut the door on speculation the dynamic winner of Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes might back up alongside stablemate Home Affairs and fellow Australian sprinter Artorius in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on Saturday, saying Nature Strip had nothing left to prove.

“He has come all this way, he has just gone to potentially a career-best, he has put all of his heart and soul into that race,” Waller said on RSN radio.

“We specifically targeted the 1000-metre race. If something went wrong, I’m sure we would have given it a lot more consideration.

“He is going to get on that plane leaving England with the most respect you could ever think of so it wouldn’t be right (to run again).”

Instead, the world’s top-ranked sprinter will return home to be prepared for a defence of his Everest title, leaving Home Affairs and Artorius to fly the country’s flag in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

Cox Plate winner State Of Rest added an Australian flavour to the second day of the Royal carnival with his victory in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and he too appears set for a spring carnival appearance.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained entire is part-owned by Australia’s Newgate Farm, whose managing director Henry Field has declared his intention to bring the horse back to Melbourne for another Cox Plate bid.

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