Inglis Celebrate Nature Strip Royal Ascot Win

Media Release - Wednesday June 15

Freakish sprinter Nature Strip (Nicconi) confirmed his status as the World’s Best Sprinter with a breathtaking display of sustained speed to dominate his rivals in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot overnight.

Nature Strip wins the G1 King's Stand Stakes - image Racingfotos

With the world watching the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale superstar on racing’s biggest stage, Nature Strip delivered arguably the most powerful performance of his career to secure a 21st career win and ninth at G1 level.

He becomes just the fifth Australian sprinter to win the King’s Stand Stakes behind fellow Inglis graduates Choisir (2003) and Takeover Target (2006) as well as Miss Andretti (2007) and Scenic Blast (2009).

Bred and offered for sale at Inglis Premier by Golden Grove Stud, the Chris Waller-trained Nature Strip is one of 74 G1-winning Inglis graduates since 2018.

Nature Strip as a yearling.

Like many Australians, Golden Grove’s Grant Mackay woke early this morning to watch Nature Strip’s powerhouse effort and was gobsmacked by what he witnessed.

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“He made a mess of them, I certainly didn’t expect him to win as dominantly as he did and I don’t think anybody probably did,’’ Mackay said.

“This result is huge for us. This is what we want, to get our name out there, and there’s no better way than by having the world’s best sprinter be off the farm. We’re a small operation but we’re producing horses that can perform on a global stage so it’s fantastic.

“Nature Strip is getting better with age. It’s hard to see any other horse getting anywhere near him any time soon.’’

Nature Strip owners celebrate at Ascot - image Racingfotos

Nature Strip’s part owner Rod Lyons described the victory as “absolutely sensational’’.

“I’ve never been so nervous before a race, my guts were in a knot,’’ an ecstatic Lyons said.

“The last time I cried was when I lost my mum but today was so emotional to me. I know how many people in Australia and New Zealand were watching and that’s special.

“I was really nervous that maybe he wouldn’t live up to how good we know he is but when he did, wow, it was a pretty painless watch to be honest. I just can’t believe what I just saw.

“Royal Ascot, a Group 1, it’s the pinnacle of racing. We love Flemington, we love Randwick etc but Royal Ascot is the pinnacle of racing. Where else do we dress in a top hat and tail and look so silly?! It’s just fantastic.’’

Winning trainer Waller added: “It means a lot. We don’t get a chance to come up and race against the English horses or Irish, French, Americans etc so to be able to take a horse all this way, it’s pretty special, to not only win but to win the way he did.

“It was breathtaking, he’s a very good horse, he’s been up a long time and I guess he’s in the twilight of his career but he’s just learnt to be a racehorse now. He’s got better with age and as he’s matured and it’s an honour to train a horse like him.

“He’s the highest rated sprinter and one of the highest rated horses in the world but until you do it on the main stage, it’s another story. This will just remind everyone how strong we are in Australia.’’

Waller and connections will spend the next 48 hours deciding whether or not to back Nature Strip up in Sunday morning’s G1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes on the fifth and final day of the Royal Ascot Carnival.

He is currently a $3.50 second favourite with TAB, behind stablemate and Inglis Easter Yearling Sale graduate Home Affairs ($3).

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