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"They just need to turn up" - Waller happy with his Royal Ascot raiding party

By Jon Vine
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07 Jun 2022
  • Australian trainer, Chris Waller spoke to the press ahead of Royal Ascot
  • Waller hasn't saddled an Ascot runner since 2015
  • Nature Strip will head for the King's Stand Stakes
  • Stablemates Home Affairs and Artorius will go for the Platinum Jubilee Stakes
chris waller
Chris Waller looks on during Sydney Racing at Royal Randwick Racecourse. (Getty)
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Chris Waller, best known as the trainer of Australian super-mare Winx, is confident with his raiding party going into Royal Ascot.

Waller is yet to have a winner at this most famous of flat meetings. He did come close in 2015 though, when star sprinter Brazen Beau was touched off in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes by Frankie Dettori aboard Wesley Ward's raider, Undrafted.

Seven years on from that agonising defeat, the New Zealand-born trainer returns to Berkshire with not one, but three talented sprinters in-toe.

An eight-time Group One over both five and six furlongs, Nature Strip will be pointed at the King's Stand Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot. Home Affairs, who beat his stablemate into second in the Black Caviar Stakes in February, will tackle the slightly longer Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

"The horses are very good horses, all three of them." Waller said. "They just need to turn up and will fight out the finish with the best in the world."

nature strip
Nature Strip (right) and James McDonald riding Home Affairs (left) after a jump out down the straight at Flemington Racecourse. (Getty)

Stable jockey and former Ascot winner, James McDonald also spoke to the press, adding a little more depth to Waller's argument.

"I'm extremely excited." said McDonald, "They're arguably the world's best sprinters and to be taking them up, showcasing them is going to be awesome. I couldn't dream of being on two better horses in different races, that's for sure."

"Nature Strip is obviously in unbelievable form. Home Affairs is going really well and has improvement to come. They are both ticking along lovely. They will be hard to beat, but I'm sure they'll make us proud."

Nature Strip is currently the 3/1 second-favorite for the King's Stand Stakes, behind market leader Golden Pal. Home Affairs tops the betting for the Platinum Jubilee Stakes on 4/1, with stablemate Artorius a 20/1 outsider.

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