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Royal Ascot 2022, state of rest horse Nature Strip owners chris waller

Platinum jubilee stakes 2022, Nature Strip horse owners chris waller
Nature Strip did a great job of winning the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, but Craig Newitt from Tasmania still holds the race record.
Nature Strip is great, but a Tassie jockey still has the best record at Royal Ascot.

Some media commentators said that Nature Strip's win in the group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot was the "best ever" by an Australian horse at the famous track.

And it's possible that it was. But that didn't take away Tasmanian jockey Craig Newitt's crowning achievement: he can still say that he rode the fastest winner in the 160-year history of the race.

In 2007, Newitt won a race on a horse trained by Lee Freedman and set a new record of 57.44 seconds.

Nature Strip, who won by more than four lengths and still seemed to have something left in the tank, ran a time of 58.25 on Wednesday morning (AEST time).

That was faster than the other Australian winners of the race, Choisir (59.68 in 2003), Takeover Target (59.79 in 2006), and Scenic Blast (59.54 in 2009).

Times depend a lot on how the track is set up, and people have very different ideas about which winners are the best.

Most racing experts say that Miss Andretti was 0.81 seconds faster than Nature Strip, which is at least 4-1/2 lengths.

Of course, that's only a fair way to compare them if the track conditions were the same.

But it does show how hard it is to say for sure that Nature Strip's win was better than Miss Andretti's.

It's easy to see why media experts in Sydney were so excited about Nature Strip's win and were quick to call it the "best ever."

After all, both trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald are originally from New Zealand but now live in Sydney.

But wouldn't it be better to just say that the win was another great thing for an Australian racehorse to do on the world stage?

Sarah Cotton, who trains thoroughbred horses in Broadmarsh, has won almost 20% of the races she has been in charge of.
Sarah Cotton, who trains thoroughbred horses in Broadmarsh, has won almost 20% of the races she has been in charge of.

20 WINS WITH FIRST EVER HORSE

When Blackbird Power won at cricket-score odds in Hobart on Sunday night, it was a big step forward for Campania harness trainer Gavin Kelly.

Kelly has now won 20 races with his first horse, a nine-year-old he got when he got his trainer's license in 2016–17.

In all, Blackbird Power has won 29 races.

He won four races for trainers on the mainland and three for Zeke Slater and two for Mark Yole since he moved to Tasmania.

Incredibly, Kelly has won races with Blackbird Power at 12 different tracks around Australia during their long journey together.

They have won a total of four races in Hobart, three in Menangle, two each in Canberra, Penrith, and West Wyalong, and one each in Launceston, Temora, Coolamon, Young, Tamworth, Swan Hill, and Bankstown.

Kelly will try to win his 21st race with Blackbird Power in the Free-For-All race in Launceston on Sunday night.

All over 2200m.

He won't be the $288 he won on the NSW tote last week, but he will still be a good price in a good field that includes state mile record-holder Sunny Sanz, recent winners Joe Nien and Hayden Bromac, and class mare Lockaway Kacie.

chris waller
chris waller

OUTSIDER'S WIN 'NO SURPRISE'

The stewards had questions about Lifeofbrian, the other longshot winner from last weekend, after he beat a strong field at Mowbray on Friday night.

At his seventh start in Tasmania, Lifeofbrian beat the hot favorite Lancelot, who was a 50-1 shot after longer odds were bet.

The judge asked trainer Ben Yole about the six-year-"apparently old's improved performance," but Yole said he wasn't surprised by the win.

Yole said he wasn't upset with the gelding's recent performance and that he lived up to his expectations.

The trainer also said that Lifeofbrian had gotten "a very good run" during the race.

Lifeofbrian will run again at Mowbray on Sunday night, and he will be dropping in class to the Rating 50-59 Pace.

He will start from the third row because he is a new driver. Last week, he came from outside the second row.

WOW! NATURE STRIP is an Aussie ROCKET in the King's Stand!

Returning to grass makes it harder.

In the last eight weeks, five of the eight Tasmanian thoroughbred meetings have been held at Spreyton. This has been a treat for bettors.

The form on the synthetic track is very consistent. Last week, seven of the 10 winners had odds of less than $4.00, and the winner with the highest odds was $7.00.

When racing goes back to the grass, it's always a little tougher. On May 22, the average starting price of Elwick winners was $7.50 (the longest price was $21), and on June 5, the average starting price was $5.00 (the longest price was $10).

On Sunday, a trainer with a career win rate of almost 20% is looking for value and thinks a horse that went for $51 last time has a chance.

Rapid Effect, who was trained by Sarah Cotton, didn't have much going for her until she finished fourth in her first race, behind Donna's Day, two weeks ago.

After being near the back of the pack for most of the race, the mare ran up behind the leaders on the last turn and seemed to be doing well.

She was held up for a while in the early part of the straight, but she finished well enough to come in fourth, well behind the first two finishers but only a short distance behind the favorite, Sistine.

Rapid Effect should have been in better shape for that race and has a chance in the 1390m Maiden race no matter how it goes.

Since coming back from a two-year break, Tiesto hasn't won in five races, but he looks like he'll do well in the Benchmark 62 at 1600m.

At his first four races, he finished well, but the distances were too long. At his most recent race, he surprised everyone by taking the lead.

Craig Atkinson told the stewards that he didn't change his strategy on purpose, but that Tiesto jumped better than he thought he would, and he didn't want to upset him by trying to hold him back.

He'll probably slow down now that David Pires is back on board.

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