Wesley Ward winners have become synonymous with Royal Ascot over the last few years, and Strike The Tiger, Jealous Again, No Say Never, Hootenanny, Acapulco and Lady Aurelia have produced performances that have wowed the appreciative crowds.
Therefore, we thought it was time to take a look at the American Trainer’s intended runners at the 2017 Royal Ascot Meeting.
Arawak (The Coventry Stakes)
Already owned by Coolmore Stud, this 2-year-old stormed to a 7-length win in his maiden, despite weather meaning that race was switched to dirt from turf. Ward thinks he’ll be more of a miler as he matures, but he’s sure that the turf of Royal Ascot will be very much to his liking.
Fairyland (Albany Stakes or Queen Mary)
Another Coolmore owned horse who cost $375,000 as a yearling, but she only managed to win by ¾-length on debut. Bound to improve for that run though.
Happy Like A Fool (Queen Mary)
Ward certainly knows how to win the Queen Mary, having already won it three times since 2009 with Jealous Again, Acapulco and Lady Aurelia. The last two stood out a mile in the parade ring, and Ward can barely contain his excitement when he talks about a horse he bred himself, and named after a song his kids love.
Elizabeth Darcy (Windsor Castle)
This one could prove a relatively cheap purchase having been bought for €88,000, as she won by 8-lengths on her debut at Indiana Grand over 5 furlongs on turf. Set to be aimed at the Windsor Castle, which Ward won in 2009 with Strike The Tiger and again in 2014 with Hootenanny.
Nookta Sound (Windsor Castle)
The fact that Ward is targeting two horses at the Windsor Castle, slightly tempers enthusiasm for their chances. However, this one was another impressive 5-length plus winner on debut. His reasoning behind entering both runners is also sound, as this one likes to bowl along in front, whilst Elizabeth Darcy is a hold-up performer.
McErin (Norfolk Stakes)
Ward thinks this one will bely his dirt-pedigree, and prove much better on turf. His trainer, and Ryan Moore, were both impressed by his work at Ascot Racecourse earlier this week.
Princess Peggy (Albany Stakes)
Her trainer isn’t completely assured that she’s good enough, though Ryan Moore was impressed. Same ownership as Lady Aurelia, so may be one of the ones that is over-bet.
Lady Aurelia (King’s Stand Stakes)
Every chance that last year’s Queen Mary winner will prove top-class over 5-furlongs, though it’s worth remembering that she dwarfed her rivals last year, and the form of that race hasn’t really worked out. However, already showed she’s trained on by winning easily at Keeneland this season in a time that suggested she is top-class.
Con Te Partiro (Sandringham Stakes)
Already had lots of racecourse experience and, though not one of the stable’s leading lights, interesting to see how she gets on in a handicap.
Bound For Nowhere (Commonwealth Cup)
Wesley owns this one himself, and it will be fascinating to watch how he gets on in the Commonwealth Cup against the Coolmore Stud owned Caravaggio. 2 out of 2 so far, and his price will shorten if regular work companion Lady Aurelia blows away the opposition in the King’s Stand Stakes.