Nature Strip has confirmed his place as the World’s Best Sprinter and claimed the King’s Stand Stakes in breathtaking fashion on the opening day of the Royal Ascot Festival.

In a dramatic 1000 meter contest, Nature Strip would become the seventh Australian-trained winner at Royal Ascot as race favorite Golden Pal missed the start and a rider-less horse caused racegoers to hold their breath. Nature Strip took his usual 150 meters to get into his rhythm, but James McDonald looked composed as he gradually sent the sprinter to the front of the field, before racing away over the final furlong.

Speaking post-race, McDonald described Nature Strip’s performance as “incredible”.

Nature Strips joins Choisir (2003), Takeover Target (2007), Miss Andretti (2007) and Scenic Blast (2009) to win the King’s Stand Stakes.