Wesley Ward To Take Strongest Two Year Old Team To Royal Ascot

Wesley Ward To Take Strongest Two Year Old Team To Royal Ascot

US Trainer Wesley Ward has shipped off his largest squad of two-year-olds to England, with as many as seven juveniles currently planning their assault for Royal Ascot in under three weeks time.

The youths - joined by experienced sprinter Bound For Nowhere; third in last year's Diamond Jubilee, will also team up with Lady Pauline, who is already parked at their temporary yard in Manton after her initial display in Berkshire on the first of May.

The new young team heading over will try to add to Ward's stunning total of ten winners since 2009, when he recorded a double with Strike The Tiger in the Windsor Castle Stakes and Jealous Again in the Queen Mary.

Ward is expected to be doubly represented in those contests just named once again, and will split the rides between John Velazquez and last month's Preakness winning rider - Tyler Gaffalione.

With Gaffalione making his British debut, the American trainer has said that he is beyond satisfied with the options he has at his disposal.

(Credit: attheraces.com) He said: "I think this is the strongest group as a whole.

"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 bound for another attempt in the Saturday Group One sprint (DJ), and will look to better his second-placed finish to another potential US runner Imprimis, from his Keeneland prep-race.

Ward continued: "He has some beautiful breezes here at Keeneland, where he had a really nice race, is dead sound and has no issues.

"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.

"The two-year-olds have already posted impressive efforts in the US, and one carrying highest hopes will be Nayibeth.

"I really, really like her. 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."

Going through his other candidates, Ward added: "Karak, a Karakontie filly. is very nice as well. She will probably be in the Queen Mary or the Norfolk. The owners of course won the Norfolk last year with Shang Shang Shang.

"Chili Petin was a really nice winner in the States and is 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.

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

"Kimari will go in the Queen Mary.

Ward also confirmed Lady Aurelia's half-sister Lady Pauline - surprisingly beaten on her first start in Britain, will still go for the Queen Mary alongside Kimari.