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NATURE STRIP CHALLENGE

Chris Waller trained Nature Strip renews his rivalry with Eduardo this Saturday in the Challenge Stakes at Randwick and for the super trainer there is more than pride on the line with Nature Strip having the opportunity to move up the greatest of all time leaderboard

Nature Strip and Eduard set to clash in Challenge Stakes

Champion Sprinter and Everest winner Nature Strip can move to second on the all time prize money earnings leaderboard should the chestnut stallion win the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Randwick this coming weekend.

With two Group 1 races on the card, the Challenge Stakes have managed to steal the limelight as Nature Strip attempts to move behind old stablemate Winx in the prize money rankings. Stood in his way however is old sparring partner, Eduardo!

Having already met in the Lightning Stakes, Nature Strip does have the edge on Eduardo 5 - 3 however Eduardo did win the Challenge Stakes over 1000m last year when recording a track record time of 55.2 seconds.

If Nature Strip can win the Challenge Stakes it will see his total earnings move to $16.6m and ahead of current second place holder Redzel at $16.4m. The pair still sit a way of Champion Mare Winx who amassed an incredible $26.45m during her amazing career.

Currently the bookies have it a close contest with Eduardo at $2.10 in the market and Nature Strip $1.60 with the rest of the field $21 plus.

James McDonald is back in the saddle for Nature Strip this weekend and bullish about the condition of the waller runner.

“Here we go again with Nature Strip and Eduardo, it’s great for racing,’’ McDonald said.

“Nature Strip is in great form, he worked superbly there on Tuesday morning.

“He looks in great condition, he’s blossoming and certainly hasn’t gone backwards.’’

McDonald felt that Nature Strip could have been out of his comfort zone down the Flemington Straight after a narrow defeat to stablemate Home Affairs.

“Nature Strip has never been in that position before but he handled it well,’’ McDonald said.

“He had a good horse to chase down and just fell short. His run was every bit as good as the winner.’’

Nature Strip and Eduardo no matter the outcome will both be heading onto the TJ Smith Stakes where Nature Strip will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories in the race and replicate the feats on the great Chautauqua winning three times between 15 and 17.

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