Racing: Kiwis James McDonald, Sir Steve Hansen celebrate atop Everest, after Nature Strip victory

This year's edition of the richest race on turf - The Everest - has been taken out by Nature Strip, a horse riddled with Kiwi connections. 

One of those connections - former All Blacks coach Sir Steve Hansen - watched the race at Sydney's Randwick course on his phone from a corner of a Tokyo airport. 

The victory had previously evaded Kiwi jockey James McDonald, but he and Nature Strip have finally reached the peak. 

"Ever since it's been going, I've been dreaming about it," he says. "I had goosebumps thinking about it last night."

And kilometres away from the oncourse excitement was part-owner Hansen cheering on by himself.  

"I wasn't around anybody, because I can tend to get pretty excited," admits Sir Steve. "I was doing a bit of leg slapping and quietly telling him under my breath to go."

Hansen made sure he was at the airport very early, so he wouldn't miss the race. 

"My plane didn't go until 6:30, check-in didn't open till 4:30 and I got there at 130."

McDonald has confirmed to Newshub just how quickly Hansen contacted him afterwards. 

"He was rapt," says McDonald. "I heard from him straight away - he was one of the first on the phone." 

The two Kiwis shared their joy as the seven-year-old gelding galloped into equine folklore. 

Kiwis celebrating at the top of Everest once again.