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Horse Racing - Racing: Nature Strip aimed at Royal Ascot

Top Australian sprinter Nature Strip could be set for a tilt at Royal Ascot after recording a stunning third win in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes.

The seven-year-old powered clear of Eduardo to strike by three-and-a-quarter lengths - the same margin as his 2020 success, and more impressive than the first victory in the famous sprint.

A first step outside Australia?

Saturday's winner has not raced outside of Australia but trainer Chris Waller, best known for training the world-famous Winx, pinpointed the Royal meeting as a potential future target. You can follow the action via our Sports Live Streaming platform.

He would have options of the King's Stand Stakes, over five furlongs and on the first day of the meeting on 14th June, and the Platinum Jubilee Stakes over six.

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Waller hails 'special' Nature Strip

Waller said after Nature Strip's TJ Smith Stakes win: "I'm sure the main aim is to have him back here for The Everest and if we can shoot over and see our friends at Royal Ascot it would be pretty special.

"Everybody respects Australian racing, especially our sprinters. It would be great to take horses like him and Home Affairs over there and put that flag up pretty high.

"He's got a cult following and most people really appreciate the horse for what he is. He's very special, he puts them under a bit of pressure."

Jockey James McDonald added: "He's won everything in Australia, he's just an incredible horse. It feels just surreal. I just feel numb because the horse is a marvel. What he's achieved in his career, he's just a freak."

Waller has never trained a winner at Royal Ascot but Black Caviar flew the flag for Australia at the meeting in 2012 while Merchant Navy was transferred to Aidan O'Brien shortly before winning the Platinum Jubilee in 2018.

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