American star trainer Wesley Ward will once again have a strong hand at Royal Ascot in June, featuring two-time Berkshire winner Lady Aurelia.
The star filly soared to Queen Mary success in 2016 and King’s Stand Stakes glory in 2017, setting up a Royal hat-trick next month.
Lady Aurelia has not won in her last two starts, including her reappearance this season, but Ward has seen a change in her attitude heading into the British summer.
“Last year, working into the Breeders’ Cup, I thought she was getting complacent, kinda easy-going, taking things in stride,” Ward said at Keeneland.
“For whatever reason, she went out to Del Mar and didn’t fire and maybe that was a telltale sign that she wasn’t relaxed and doing things on her own.
“Now she’s really aggressive like she has been in the past. That’s what you want to see going to where we’ve been a couple of times before.”
Another Ward sprinter heading back to Ascot is Bound For Nowhere.
The highly-fancied four-year-old was fourth in the hot Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last June, won by Caravaggio, and returned to winning ways earlier this year.
The King’s Stand Stakes may also be the plan for Bound For Nowhere who will step up his work next week.
“We wanted to give him a cruising work today – nothing real serious until probably next week when we tighten him down a little bit,” Ward said.
He’s doing everything great. Gary Stevens (jockey) worked him last week and loved the way he went. This week was more of a maintenance breeze.
“He came through with just what I wanted him to do.”
Hemp Hemp Hurray, a 3-year-old colt by Artie Schiller who races for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, is on tap to travel to Royal Ascot for the Jersey Stakes or Commonwealth Cup.
Ward, who won 13 races during Keeneland’s 2018 Spring Meet to tie Brad Cox as the season’s co- leading trainer, said a trio of 2-year-olds who won their career debuts during the Spring Meet and worked at Keeneland Tuesday also are scheduled to make their next starts at Royal Ascot.
They are Hat Creek Racing’s Chelsea Cloisters (June 20 Queen Mary-G2); Breeze Easy’s Shang Shang Shang (June 21 Norfolk-G2); and Marcus Stables’ Stillwater Cove (June 22 Albany-G3).
Ward’s horses are scheduled to leave Indianapolis on June 4 for their overseas flight to London, and then prepare for Royal Ascot at Newmarket. For all upcoming horse races and event, click here.