Strip set for career-high rating

Nature Strip will soon be reaffirmed as the world’s premier sprinter, with global handicappers likely to reward his breathtaking King’s Stand Stakes victory at Royal Ascot with his career-best rating.

The next update of the Longines World’s Best Horse rankings is due to be published on July 14, with Royal Ascot Group 1 winners Nature Strip and Baaeed (Queen Anne Stakes) certain to have their ratings raised following the two remarkable performances on Day 1 of the festival.

Baaeed (125) held a slight margin over Nature Strip (124) and American horse Life Is Good (124) when the latest ratings were released on June 5.

Baaeed, who is trained by William Haggas, won his eighth-straight race when he romped home by nearly two lengths in the 1600-metre Queen Anne Stakes to continue his dominance in the United Kingdom.

Nature Strip had achieved a career-high mark of 124 following his T.J. Smith victory in April, with that figure likely to swell to around 126 for his King’s Stand victory.

The Chris Waller-trained Nature Strip won the King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) by four-and-a-half lengths after surging clear inside the final 400 metres in what was a career-defining performance despite a clear lack of depth behind him.

King’s Stand runner-up Twilight Calls went into the race with a 110 rating, while third-placed Acklam Express boasted a mere 104 rating before the race.

In contrast, Baaeed again beat Real World, who had a 118 rating, as did third-placed Order Of Australia, who was the Queen Anne runner-up 12 months earlier.

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