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WATCH: Nature Strip claims Australian racing's biggest prize with thrilling Everest win

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16th October, 2021
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Nature Strip has confirmed his standing as Australia’s best sprinting thoroughbred in winning the $15 million Everest.

In a case of taking care of some unfinished business in front of 10,000 racegoers at Randwick, Nature Strip made all the running in Australia’s richest race.

But it was a desperate finish as Nature Strip held on grimly for jockey James McDonald to stave off a surging Masked Crusader.

Eduardo took third with last year’s winner Classique Legend winding up fourth.

For Nature Strip’s trainer Chris Waller, it was yet another triumph on one of racing’s biggest stages as he continues to rewrite the record books.

It was also a moment of relief as Nature Strip silenced the doubters once and for all, winning the race at his third attempt.

“He is the highest rating sprinter in the world for a reason and that gave me some confidence and he has probably justified it today,” Waller told the Seven Network.

McDonald, backed by the genius of Waller, rode Nature Strip like the best horse in the race.

“I’ve never woken up in the morning and been so confident in a runner,” he said.

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“Even though he has just got there … the man who trains him is an absolute master.”

Nature Strip began cleanly from a wide draw and was contesting the lead as the field settled.

MacDonald allowed Nature Strip to increase his advantage and at the 400m it was his race to lose.

It almost was as Masked Crusader jumped out of the ground to make it a finish for the ages.

Eduardo was the first serious challenger to Nature Strip before holding down the minor placing.

Classique Legend ran a brave race in his bid for back-to-back Everest wins, coming from a worse-than-midfield position to finish fourth.

© AAP

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