Source : The Sporting News by Tom Naghten
Superstar sprinter Nature Strip has been rated the equal best horse in the world as part of the latest Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.
The Chris Waller-gelding, fresh off a third straight TJ Smith Stakes victory at Randwick earlier this month, has been given a rating of 124, the same as Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Pegasus World Cup winner Life Is Good.
Waller has appeared to crack the code when it comes to the-now seven-year-old Nature Strip.
The speedster’s quality was evident from early in his career but punters were often left scratching their heads after subpar performances at short odds in big races.
That inconsistency has given way to an uncanny reliability when it comes to Nature Strip’s grand finals, thanks in no small part to the Waller touch.
Three TJ Smith wins, two VRC Classics and the 2021 Everest are a testament to Nature Strip’s ability to turn up when it counts.
The horse now looks set for the biggest challenge of his career when connections take him to England for the Royal Ascot carnival in mid-June.
“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,” Waller said.
“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.”
Other Australian-based horses to feature in the rankings include another Waller runner in Home Affairs, which sits equal seventh alongside Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Think It Over and Annabel Neasham’s All Star Mile champ Zaaki with a rating of 120.
Star colt Anamoe sits equal 12th with a rating of 119, while Australian-bred, Hong Kong-based Golden Sixty is fourth on 122.