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Stand aside World, the Aussies are returning to Royal Ascot and it’s the World’s Best Sprinter in Nature Strip who’s 9/4 favourite with Ladbrokes for the King’s Stand Stakes.

With Tuesday being Day 1 of The Royal Meeting, Nature Strip has drawn Gate 10 of 18 runners for James McDonald, having previously won the $2.5m TJ Smith 1200m at Royal Randwick.

In some what dropping back to 5 furlongs, 1000 metres, of this King’s Stand, Nature Strip has won 20 of his 37 starts and $17.9m, including eight Group 1 victories plus The $15m Everest.

With Nature Strip being the leading World Best Ranked Sprinter and Champion WBR Sprinter in 2021, he’s equal-second on 124 as Leading WBR Racehorse, with Baassd leading on 125 at 5 June.

In also being Australian Horse of The Year in 2020 and twice Champion Australian Sprinter, Nature Strip is the first of Hall of Fame trainer Chris Waller two runners at this 2022 Royal Meeting.

The 7yo gelding is certainly the best of this season’s one-time Leading Sire Nicconi, who is now standing at the new Widden Victoria, having transferred from the Widden Stud in NSW.

Passed-in for $90,000 at the 2016 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, and later sold for $100,000, he’s from the Gr3 winning Green Desert mare Strikeline, and half-brother to The Barrister.

With Nature Strip looking to be Australia’s fourth King’s Stand hero, the Aussie invasion began in 2003 with Choisir for trainer Paul Perry, who then went-on to win the Golden Jubilee Stakes.

Takeover Target next won in 2003 for Jay Ford and Queanbeyan trainer Joe Janiak, with Miss Andretti in 2007 with Craig Newitt for Lee Freedman and Scenic Blast in 2009 for Danny Morton.

However, its the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and Juvenile Turf Sprint champion Golden Pal who is pressing Nature Strip at 5/2 for the Keeneland based Royal Ascot wizard Wesley Wild.

To be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr, and coming off a Shaketown Stakes victory, he’s by former Coolmore Australia shuttler Uncle Moe, and will surely be retiring to their Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

Onto Day 5, its trainer Chris Waller who has the Platinum Jubilee Stakes of 6f at his mercy, with the his 3yo Home Affairs as the 4/1 favourite, and to be again to be ridden by James McDonald.

In scoring a slick 56.64sec victory in the Newmarket Handicap of 1200m, he defeated the World’s Best Sprinter in Nature Strip, who he meets again, with the world rated Eduardo in third.

Now with 4 wins and $2.27m, and previously winning the sire-making Coolmore Stud Stakes of 1200m, he next retires to Coolmore Australia as the highest priced first-season sire in Australia.

In being the fastest son of I Am Invincible, and from a winning half-sister to Leading First Crop Sire Russian Revolution, he was a $875,000 Tom Magnier buy at the 2000 Easter Yearling Sale.

With Nature Strip posed at 6/1, he’s looking to join Choisir in 2003, Starspangledbanner 2010, Black Caviar 2012 and Merchant Navy in 2018 to win the then titled Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

However, can Nature Strip match Choisir for the King’s Stand-Jubilee Stakes double, with Choisir’s son Starspangledbanner later siring the Royal Ascot Coventry Stakes winner The Wow Signal.

At 14/1 is the Anthony and Sam Freedman trained Artoriou, who has recently has been placed in Group 1 company, having previously won the valuable Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.

Raced in partnership by Newgate Bloodstock, China Horse Club and partners, he’s to stand alongside his Coolmore Stud Stakes winning sire Flying Artie at Newgate Farm on retirement.

A $120,000 graduate at the 2000 MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale, from the Redoute’s Choice mare Gracie’s Lass, his Written Tycoon half-brother made $1.4m at the Sydney Easter Yearling Sale.

However, no Australian can leave Royal Ascot knowing that So You Think in winning the 2011 Prince of Wales’s Stakes for Coolmore has become this season’s one-time Australian Leading Sire.

This season he had Think It Over win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Knights Order the Sydney Cup, with his yearlings selling up to $500,000 this year and his weanlings making $525,000.

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