Asian Racing Review: answering the Nature Strip retirement ‘question’
Michael Cox and Andrew Le Jeune weigh-in on the Nature Strip retirement debate on this week's episode of Asian Racing Review, as they analyse all the weekend's Group 1 action from Australia and Japan.
‘If you owned Nature Strip, would you retire him?’
The question has been posed frequently in relation to the eight-year-old gelding of late but the answer was a resounding ‘no’ on this week’s episode of Asian Racing Review, as Michael Cox and Andrew Le Jeune analysed the action from Day One at The Championships, including the champion sprinter’s fourth-placed finish in the G1 TJ Smith Stakes.
“I’d take him back to Royal Ascot,” said Le Jeune of last year’s dominant G1 King’s Stand Stakes winner, who failed in his bid for a fourth-consecutive TJ Smith after leading the crack field into the straight.
“I still think he’s got something to give, and he’d be competitive over there even if he is just slightly behind them here.”
Cox was in full agreement.
“I can’t believe the comments from people outside the training sphere saying ‘I would retire him’,” said Cox.
“Would you? You’re doing better than me, I wouldn’t retire him. He’s a gelding, it’s not like he’s running a bad race and turning it up and being beaten 20 lengths.
“If he’s sound and well, and enjoying his racing, let’s go.”
Also in this week’s Asian Racing Review:
Day One of The Championships (0:00); ‘Point of difference’: the ‘unconventional’ riding skills Joao Moreira brings to a day’s racing (1:00); Finally, signs of a more cooperative future for Hong Kong and Australia? (3:20); Moreira’s Australian mentor (5:50); Purton pushes Everest slot for Hong Kong sprinter (6:56); Could the long-running V’Landys – Engelbrecht-Bresges feud be coming to a close? (8:17); If you owned Nature Strip, would you retire him? (10:56); G1 Osaka Hai: Take makes history on Jack D’Or (11:41); A look ahead to HKJC Champions Day (13:52); Horse racing’s ‘secret billionaire’ (14:28).