For as long as there has been horse racing in Australia (forever), the public has always wondered how our local horses would stack up against those overseas.
Especially in the Motherland.
The Royal Ascot Carnival is one of the most prestigious in the world and with the dominant win of Nature Strip in the King’s Stand Stakes overnight, we have listed the Top 11 Australian Performances At Royal Ascot.
11. Choisir – 2003 King’s Stand Stakes
Choisir was an Australian Trailblazer in the UK, becoming the first Australian horse to win the King’s Stand Stakes in 2009.
Trained by Paul Perry in Broadmeadow, he was the champion two year old colt in Australia in 2001/02 before heading overseas to tackle the world down the famous Royal Ascot straight.
10. Takeover Target – 2006 King’s Stand Stakes
If there is a bigger rags-to-riches story than Joe Janiak and his champion Takeover Target, I’d love to hear it.
Janiak was a cab driver by day who slept in his stables and he purchased a gelding that had plenty of problems with his legs for just $1250 in 2003.
Less than three years later, Janiak and Takeover Target were the toast of Royal Ascot after winning the Group 2 King’s Stand Stakes.
He finished his career with eight Group 1 wins across four countries, including the Krisflyer International Sprint in Singapore and over $6 million in prize money.
He would compete at Royal Ascot three years in a row and after his win in 2006, he was named the World’s Best Sprinter.
9. Miss Andretti – 2007 King’s Stand Stakes
Miss Andretti was a sensational sprinter.
She ended her career with five Group 1 wins but arguably her biggest accomplishment was a win in the Group 2 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2007.
She burst clear with 100 meters to go beating home two other Australians in Takeover Target and Magnus.
8. Scenic Blast – 2009 King’s Stand Stakes
It was a golden age of Australian sprinters in the late 00’s and Scenic Blast became the third horse in four years to win the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He might not have the accolades of the other three to win this race but Scenic Blast’s win was the most dominant.
He sat at the tail of the field and loomed up to the leaders with ease on the far side before storming over the top to win.
7. Haradasun – 2008 Queen Anne Stakes
Being a half brother to Elvstroem comes with a lot of expectations, and in few cases does a horse live up to their big brother/sister.
Not only did Haradasun become a multiple Group 1 winner like his brother, he also emulated him by winning a Group 1 overseas.
Elvstroem won the Dubai Duty Free Stakes in 2005 and his little brother won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot just three years later after Coolmore bought a half share in the horse for $20 million.
It’s a long way from Swan Hill where both horses kick started their careers.
6. Choisir – 2003 Golden Jubilee Stakes
The decision by Paul Perry to take his talented colt to England in 2003 turned out to be a fantastic one.
After his win in the Group 2 King’s Stand Stakes, he went on to win the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes.
He then tackled the Newmarket July Cup where he ran second and was subsequently named 2003 Champion older sprinter in Europe.
Last year Blue Point became the first horse to replicate Choisir’s feat in 2003 of winning two Royal Ascot races at the same meeting
5. Starspanglesbanner – 2010 Golden Jubilee Stakes
Choisir would further enhance his reputation by siring the Golden Jubilee Stakes winner just seven years after he won it when his son Starspangledbanner saluted in the Group 1 event.
Starspangledbanner would finish his career having won the Caulfield Guineas, Oakleigh Plate, Golden Jubilee and he would do what his father could not and went on to win the July Cup at Newmarket.
4. Merchant Navy – 2018 Golden Jubilee Stakes
Merchant Navy was a sensational horse and his win in the Coolmore Stud Stakes is hard to top.
After having a successful career in Australia he moved to Aidan O’Brien’s stables at Ballydoyle in Ireland after Coolmore acquired a partial share.
He stamped his legacy on the international stage by taking out the 2018 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
3. Black Caviar – 2012 Golden Jubilee Stakes
If I was to name all of Black Caviar’s feats as a racehorse, we would be here all day but I will simply state that she was the greatest sprinter of all time.
Peter Moody was not shy of travelling the great mare around Australia but he was always hesitant to send her overseas.
He eventually made the decision to don the top hat and send her to England for the Royal Ascot Carnival where she fell in against a pretty ordinary field.
There were of course excuses for her ‘lacklustre’ performance. She tore muscles in her chest and it didn’t help that Luke Nolan stopped riding her in the concluding stages.
The Chiropractor said of her injuries “If she was a footballer, she would have been taken from the field, and not been able to see out the game.”
The world didn’t see the best of our champion but it is still one of the greatest moments in Australian racing history.
Moods meeting the Queen is also right up there.
2. So You Think – 2012 Prince Wales Stakes
So You Think was a once in a generation type of horse and when the champion horse was sold to Coolmore we were equally as upset as Bart was!
He was narrowly denied in the Prince Of Wales Stakes behind Rewilding in 2011 but avenged that loss a year later when he beat Carlton House in what would be his last start.
He won six of his 10 starts in Europe with five of those at Group 1 level to go with his two Cox Plates.
1. Nature Strip – 2022 King’s Stand Stakes
The most exciting part about our Aussie horses going overseas is despite knowing they have been successful in their home country, there is always the unknown of just how they will stack up against international horses.
There was no doubting that Nature Strip was a champion sprinter before he lined up in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot but is he good enough to win at Royal Ascot.
Not only did he win, he dominated and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest sprinters that Australia has ever produced.