Australian superhorse Nature Strip wins Royal Ascot triumph


Australian horse Nature Strip left a world-class field in its wake at Royal Ascot, racing to victory to be officially declared the king of sprinters.

Coach Chris Waller’s Everest winner pushed to the finish by four and a half lengths to claim the King’s Stand Stakes at the British Royal Meeting.

The eight-time Australian Group 1 winner, who started as a 9-4 second favorite, devoured the two-time American Breeders’ Cup Golden Pal winner, the only competition coming from loose horse Khaadem, who had left his jockey stranded. after a problem in the stalls.

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“He’s just an absolute monster of a horse,” said Sydney jockey James McDonald.

“That riderless horse scared me. I thought, ‘How does he get one with him?’

“I saw the American horse charging across too and at the post of two (furlongs), and I thought, ‘Are you coming? “, and he got no response, and left Nature Strip.”

It was only the seventh winner in Australian history at the world-famous event and Waller’s first after finishing second in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes with Brazen Beau in 2015.

“It was breathtaking,” Waller said.

“It means a lot. We don’t have the chance to come and race against English, Irish, French and American horses, so to be able to bring a horse all this way and win like he did was quite special.

“He’s been a very good horse for a very long time. He’s in the twilight of his career but he’s just learned to be a racehorse now. He was a tough horse at first but has improved over the years. , he has matured.”

Waller, trainer of legendary horse Winx, said it was good to claim victory 10 years after the great Black Caviar also won at Royal Ascot.

“It’s very important to showcase them (Australia’s top horses) internationally,” Waller said, after the gamble of bringing his proteges on a 40-hour flight from Australia, with stops in Singapore and Dubai, has largely borne fruit.

“Obviously Australia has a huge racing industry, a breeding industry. The ratings are piling up – Nature Strip is one of the highest rated horses in the world, but until you do on the main stage, that’s another story. It will remind everyone how strong we are in Australia.”

Waller said he was still undecided whether to give Nature Strip a chance to double down in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, which would be the first since Australia’s first Royal Ascot Pick winner in 2003.

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