Eleven winners and counting at Royal Ascot for Wesley Ward. The American trainer returns to the meeting in 2021 with another strong looking team to try and add to that tally.
What are the best races to look out for his horses in however? We break down his eleven so far and look at the 2021 team to see what hints there are to help us with our horse racing tips for Royal Ascot 2021.
2.30 Wednesday – Queen Mary Stakes
Of course it’s the two-year-old races where Ward has done the majority of his winning. His juveniles seem to be double the size of their European counterparts in the parade ring, generally balls of rippling muscle.
It’s in this five-furlong fillies contest that Ward has had most success. Jealous Again got things rolling in 2009 followed by back to back wins from Acapulco and Lady Aurelia in 2015 and 2016 before Campanelle added her name to the list last year. Lady Aurelia would return in 2017 to win the King’s Stand.
The Queen Mary Stakes is the opening race on Wednesday with one Ward entry, Twilight Gleaming. A patriotic nod to the U.S National anthem, she was beaten on dirt first time but relished turf at Belmont, absolutely hosing up by more than seven lengths.
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5.35 Wednesday – Windsor Castle Stakes
Another Wednesday race, Ward won this in 2009 with Strike The Tiger and in 2014 when Hootenanny scored. He has two entries in 2021, Ruthin and Golden Bell. The latter also has an entry in the Albany which is said to be her preferred target so Ruthin is the one to concentrate on.
By Ribchester who won twice at this meeting (2016 Jersey and 2017 Queen Anne) she is out of Selinka who won the Listed Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket as a two-year-old. Selinka has already thrown Hit The Bid, a dual Group 3 winner. This filly is certainly bred for the job.
2.30 Thursday – Norfolk Stakes
Two wins so far for Ward in Thursday’s opener, No Nay Never (2013) and Shang Shang Shang in 2018. There are two entries at this stage, Lucci and Nakatomi. The former is the mount of John Velazquez and would look to be the number one string, with Oisin Murphy on the latter.
Nakatomi has been gelded since a win on the dirt in sloppy conditions which sounds a slight note of caution at this stage of his career. Lucci produced a win on turf at Belmont, albeit in a slower time than Twilight Gleaming on the same 9th May card. How she performs Wednesday will play a big part in the market for Thursday.
Other past winners and 2021 runners
Two other winners to mention at the meeting for Ward. Undrafted won the 2015 Diamond Jubilee and Con Te Partiro landed the 2017 Sandringham Handicap, the only handicap Ward has won.
Campanelle looks Ward’s biggest chance away from the three juvenile contests mentioned above. She comes back to contest the Commonwealth Cup with Frankie Dettori again in the plate.
Ward will argue that Kaufymaker in the Coventry is his biggest hope, though a filly against the boys there puts her on the back foot. Given the size of most of Ward’s two-year-olds, she may still be bigger than her male counterparts and it’s a race Ward is desperate to win.
There are a couple of older horses also sent over. Maven heads to the King’s Stand on Tuesday and Bound For Nowhere is back for a fourth Royal Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee. Third in that race in 2018 is the best that he has achieved so he looks a place chance at best once more.