All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen had another reason to smile over the weekend after beating Kiwi-rival Joe Schmidt and his Ireland team at the Rugby World Cup.

The men in black defeated Ireland 46-14 in the second quarter-final in a blistering display of dominance unrivalled at the tournament so far.

But the rugby mastermind that is Hansen had another reason to celebrate over the weekend after a horse he has a stake in won big at a race in Sydney.

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Five-year-old gelding Nature Strip finished fourth in The Everest, the world's richest turf race, at Royal Randwick Racecourse.

The winner, Yes Yes Yes collected $5.1 million at the race with Nature Strip, who finished fourth, earning roughly $880,000.

It is unclear how much Hansen's share of the winnings is, but he was certainly impressed with the horse's race.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Mark Mitchell
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"I was watching on Sky Go and got a wee bit excited when we were coming round to the front," the official Rugby World Cup website reported him as saying.

"He kicked actually and I thought, 'We've got a show here'.

"Then with 100 (metres) to go I thought, 'Hang on, boy, hang on', but then they all came at him.

"I'm really proud of him, he finished fourth and all the first four broke the track record.

"You only have to look to see what we got paid for running fourth, and I'm reasonably happy about that, too."


Before the quarter-final match, Hansen was asked which event was more important, the Rugby World Cup or the horse race.

He responded with the one he had "some" control over, that being the All Blacks match.

"I guess you could say my second horse will be the All Blacks on Saturday, although I'm not too sure the boys will like being called horses.

"There's not a lot I can do. I can't ride him [Nature Strip] or carry him."

Nature Strip was trained by Kiwi-born Chris Waller, who is renowned as one of the leading trainers in the world.

A proud All Blacks supporter too, Waller told the Sydney Morning Herald he was straight on the phone to Hansen last month after Nature Strip won the Moir Stakes.


"How's my horse?" Hansen had asked.

"How's my rugby team?" Waller had fired back before a quick catch-up left them both confident their champions were in safe hands.