Nature Strip has confirmed his place as the World’s Best Sprinter and claimed the King’s Stand Stakes in breathtaking fashion on the opening day of the Royal Ascot Festival.
In a dramatic 1000 metre contest, Nature Strip would become the seventh Australian-trained winner at Royal Ascot as race favourite Golden Pal sensationally missed the start and a riderless horse caused racegoers to hold their breath as the Chris Waller-trained seven-year-old ran away from his rivals.
“He is just an absolute freak of a horse and I think he would have silenced a few critics with that performance because it was scintillating,” James McDonald said.
The win was the first for Chris Waller at the Royal meeting who finished second with Brazen Beau in 2015 and a second for James McDonald who rode the Jersey Stakes winner in 2018.
Nature Strips joins Choisir (2003), Takeover Target (2007), Miss Andretti (2007) and Scenic Blast (2009) to win the King’s Stand Stakes.
It was the Australian’s first win at the Royal Ascot Festival in 10 years since Black Caviar won in 2012.
The American-trained Golden Pal officially finished last in 16th placing.