Ward confirms seven juveniles for Royal Ascot 2019


Royal Ascot always has an international flavour, with British and Irish horses joined by those who have travelled from other continents to compete in the various big money races during the five-day meeting.

It’s not uncommon to see plenty of American raiders flown in to England for Royal Ascot and it’s no different in 2019 where we’ll have eight horses competing under the tutelage of trainer Wesley Ward.

Ward has been busy preparing for the prestigious meeting and has now confirmed that there will be seven juveniles among his portfolio as well as veteran sprinter Bound For Nowhere, with the American feeling bullish about his horses’ chances.

Indeed, this is the deepest squad of juveniles that Ward has ever arranged for Royal Ascot, with seven two-year-olds and Bound For Nowhere joining stablemate Lady Pauline in Manton to prepare for the meeting.

Ward has got an impressive strike rate at the Royal Ascot meeting, clocking up ten winners in as many years and he’ll expect at least one of his charges to keep up that average come the end of the meeting.

John Velazquez and Tyler Gaffalione are the jockeys who will be on board his various horses, with Ward admitting to AtTheRaces that this was the strongest squad that he’s ever brought to the Royal meeting.

"I think this is the strongest group as a whole," Ward told attheraces.com.
"The old horse is going to be tough - and with the one colt and all the fillies, it is going to be a really, really good team."

Bound For Nowhere is the best-known horse in the Wesley Ward pack, with the sprinter back in England to compete in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Having finished third in the race last year, he’s sure to be among the main protagonists.

"He has some beautiful breezes here at Keeneland, where he had a really nice race, is dead sound and has no issues," said Ward.
"He will be coming over with that race underneath him and a string of quick drills in the morning. He should be ready to run the race of his life this year."

Some of the two-year-olds have reportedly been flying in their native United States and Ward is especially sweet on the chances of Naylbeth, with the filly down to run in the Albany Stakes.

"I really, really like her," said Ward.
"She won with speed to spare here at Keeneland. She was my most impressive two-year-old winner, because she won against the bridle. She will run in the Albany."

Ward was accommodating when outlining the other horses at his disposal.

"Karak, a Karakontie filly. is very nice as well. She will probably be in the Queen Mary or the Norfolk. The owners won the Norfolk last year with Shang Shang Shang.

"Chili Petin was a really nice winner and bred for the grass. I will be looking to put her in the Windsor Castle or maybe against the colts in the Norfolk. She had a huge work lately.

"Foolish Humor had a convincing win on the turf at Belmont and she is going to go in the Windsor Castle. Maven, an American Pharoah colt, won the first two-year-old race of the year in New York and was given an 84 Beyer figure - which is very high. We are going to shoot for the Norfolk with him.

"Kimari will go in the Queen Mary. Anna's Fast may go in the Albany, but the owners have Karak as well, so they will be in two different races."

Lady Pauline is one of the more experienced horses in the pack and she will run with Kimari in the Queen Mary Stakes. Having lost at Ascot in May, she will be back to try and make amends.
"She has had a couple of big works," said Ward.

"Brian Meehan has been very accommodating, so we worked her with the two-year-olds the week before last and she kind of ran away from whatever he put her with.
"We asked him to put her with an older horse, and he put her with Bacchus - who won the Wokingham last year - and she worked heads up with him, which says a lot."