Nature Strip Dominates King’s Stand Stakes At Royal Ascot As Golden Pal Flops

It was a flying performance from the Australian champion
16:00, 14 Jun 2022

Australian star Nature Strip (9/4) continued his phenomenal run of form as James McDonald cantered to a huge win in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. 

This race was billed to be a face off between the Aussie and American pre-race favourite Golden Pal, but there was only ever one horse in the running as Nature Strip streaked away from the rest of the field in style. 

He’d won 20 of his 37 races Down Under and came to Royal Ascot on the back of a wide margin success in Group 1 company at Randwick. But now he has made his name on one of the most famous racetracks in the world and boosted his career earnings to over £10m.

The best sprinter in the world put in a world class performance in the fast race of the week to take the win ahead of Twilight Calls in second (11/1) and Acklam Express, who secured an incredible third place finish at 200/1. 

He didn’t quite get the course record but the big disappointment came from Golden Pal, who reared at the start, missed the break and then couldn’t get himself back in contention when it really mattered. Trainer Wesley Ward gave him a big billing in the build-up and he has produced in the States, but Irad Ortiz could not get his mount going on the big stage. 

“He's just an excellent, freak of a horse. I think he's silenced a few critics - he's scintillating!” McDonald said on board Nature Strip after the stunning victory.  "I got a fright when I saw the loose horse up alongside me!"

 

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