Coolangatta winning the Lightning (Image: Racing Photos)
Racing.com Press Release
Just 12 months after Nature Strip’s withering performance in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes, a number of other Aussie sprinters are lining up to contest races at one of the world’s biggest events, Royal Ascot.
And officials couldn’t be happier, with the famed racecourse set to roll out the red carpet to those coming from Down Under.
G1 star Coolangatta will head to the King’s Stand Stakes, while Artorius will contest the Platinum Jubilee before retiring to Newgate Stud.
Al Quoz runner-up The Astrologist is due to arrive in the UK as early as next week following his performance in Dubai.
And then champion galloper Anamoe is likely to contest the Queen Anne Stakes over the straight mile.
Ascot’s director of racing, Nick Smith, told Racing.com that the strong contingent of Australians heading over in 2023 is an exciting prospect.
“We all know the Australian sprinters have a level not many nationalities can aspire to,” Smith said.
“What’s good from our point of view, is that after Black Caviar, for many different reasons … we’ve had very few Australian horses run.
“Australian horses really bring so much to the party. People like to see the top-class horses run and win.
“The support Nature Strip had, the support Black Caviar had … it’s not a them v us situation. People just want to see the best horses compete on the Royal Ascot stage.”
Smith said he expects the Australian sprinters to thrive on the world stage.
“Coolangatta is the new kid on the block. She’s very good,” he said.
“The Lightning is a benchmark, global race. It is the 1000-metre race in Australia and has so much respect and is a launching pad for those going overseas.
“The record is like five or six Lightning Stakes winners have gone on to win at Royal Ascot, which is unbelievable.
“Artorius is stronger, better than last year. He was a bit unlucky in the race last year. I’m really pleased he is back to have another crack.”