Nature Strip and Home Affairs the right pair for Royal Ascot

Nature Strip and Home Affairs will represent Waller at this year’s meeting after the champion trainer had his first runner in 2015 with Brazen Beau finishing second in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m).

Waller has Home Affairs aimed at that race on June 18, this year named the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, while Nature Strip is slated to run in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1200m) on June 14.

Brazen Beau’s performance has given Waller the confidence to head back to Royal Ascot, but he needed to find the right horse, or horses.

“I got a bit of confidence from him seeing our first runner there was so competitive,” Waller said.

“It’s been a while to find the horses, but these two are certainly the right two.”

Waller started scratching the surface for Royal Ascot late last year and needed to see Nature Strip and Home Affairs continue their form into late summer and early autumn.

A jump-out at Flemington on Friday, in which they were joined by the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Royal Ascot bound Artorius, was the last box needed to be ticked.

Waller said such an arduous trip to the UK would be a difficult assignment, especially for a colt like Home Affairs, but having a gelding like Nature Strip travelling with him will make it easier.

“Normally it would be a concern travelling, but this colt has got a great temperament and he’s got a great mate in Nature Strip,” Waller said.

“They’re next to each other at home. It’s really good for a young horse to have a gentleman like Nature Strip to show him the way.

“He is nature’s gentleman. I know he can get a bit keen on race day, but around the stable he is a real gentleman, so it’s a huge plus.

“Could you imagine us taking a filly or another colt or a young horse, it wouldn’t be good.”

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