Revenge Looms for Waller at Royal Meeting

Tuesday’s Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot gives champion trainer Chris Waller the opportunity to atone for the narrow defeat of Brazen Beau behind the Wesley Ward-trained Undrafted in the 2015 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Nature Strip on the course.
Nature Strip on the course. Picture: Francesca Altoft

Brazen Beau was Waller's first runner on English soil and was considered by many to be unlucky not to have taken the major prize, however this afternoon's race presents a different scenario as Waller's eight-time Group 1 winner Nature Strip goes head-to-head with Ward's one time Group 1 winner Golden Pal.

On Timeform ratings, Nature Strip  at 130 is a vastly superior sprinter to Brazen Beau and although Golden Pal brings a 125 figure to the race off a last start win in Group 2 Shakertown Stakes over 1100m at Keeneland, the Aussie sprinter holds a five-pound edge.

A closer examination of the different form lines reveals a significant edge to Nature Strip who relishes straight course racing where he has won six of his nine starts, including three at Group 1 level and a straight track Timeform rating of 128.

On the other hand Golden Pal  has been beaten in his only two runs up the straight, second at Ascot at two and well beaten in the 2021 Nunthorpe Stakes behind Winter Power , both runs yielding identical Timeform ratings of 106.

Both horses are coming off similar breaks, Nature Strip has not raced since winning the T J Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 2nd and Golden Pal since winning at Keeneland on April 9th so on the score of recent racing there is nothing between the pair.

In what will be an exciting race, however Waller's charge looks set to give Australian sprinters a fifth win in the race, the first of those coming in 2003 with Choisir.

Since then, Takeover Target , Miss Andretti and Scenic Blast have all tasted success but none of those came into the race with a Timeform rating as high as Nature Strip.



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