Royal Ascot-Winning Sprinter Nature Strip Retired After Unplaced Effort In Concorde

Nature Strip | Bronwen Healy

Multiple Group 1 winner Nature Strip (Aus) (Nicconi {Aus}–Strikeline {Aus}, by Desert Sun {GB}), who is best known in the Northern Hemisphere as the winner of the 2022 G1 King's Stand S. at Royal Ascot, has been retired, trainer Chris Waller announced on Saturday.

The 9-year-old gelding finished sixth in the G3 Concorde S. at Royal Randwick earlier in the day. Several of his owners, including Ron Lyons, were at the track when Waller made the announcement.

“I'm announcing Nature Strip's retirement on behalf of the owners… It's only fitting that we announce it as soon as the decision has been made,” Waller told Sky Sports Racing after the race.

“He came to the race sound and was trialling well; there had been no indication that race ability wasn't there, but he wasn't the same horse in the race today. The spark and acceleration weren't there. He's been such a champion horse.”

A winner of 22 of his 43 career starts, Nature Strip was named the Australian Horse of the Year twice in 2020 and 2022, while also racking up titles as the Australian Champion Male Sprinter (2020-2022), Champion Older Horse (2020 and 2022), and Champion Turf Male (2020). Also highly regarded in England from five to seven furlongs in 2022, the Golden Grove Stud Farm-bred won a total of nine top-level races, among them three editions of the T J Smith S. (2020-2022), the Sprint Classic in 2019 and 2021, the 2019 Moir S., 2021 Black Caviar Lightning, and the 2019 Galaxy. An A$90,000 RNA at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premiere Yearling Sale, he retires with a mark of 43-22-8-1 and $14,846,644 in earnings.

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