Keeneland date for Lady Aurelia before Ascot return
Lady Aurelia, who scorched the Ascot turf last year in the Queen Mary Stakes, is set to begin her three-year-old campaign at Keeneland on April 15 ahead of a return to the royal meeting, where the King's Stand Stakes is her target.
Royal Ascot's favourite American visitor Wesley Ward has identified the Giant's Causeway Stakes, a Listed event over five and a half furlongs on turf at the Kentucky venue for the blistering Scat Daddy filly's comeback.
"It gives us good spacing to go to the King’s Stand," said Ward after watching Lady Aurelia's first proper workout of the year on Keeneland's turf course on Sunday morning. She was clocked at 1min 00.20sec for five furlongs after working alongside three-year-old Bound For Nowhere. "Beautiful work – everything we want," said Ward. "Finished with speed to spare."
Lady Aurelia broke the track record at Keeneland on her career debut at last year's spring meet before winning at Royal Ascot and then taking the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville before forfeiting her unbeaten record in the Cheveley Park.
Another US-trained horse who could be on the way to Royal Ascot is Long On Value, touched off by French-trained The Right Man in the Al Quoz Sprint on the Dubai World Cup card at Meydan.
Both the King's Stand and Diamond Jubilee are in play for the six-year-old, who represents Bill Mott, trainer of the legendary Cigar.
"One thing that has been mentioned now is Royal Ascot," Mott said, speaking to the Blood-Horse. "It's toward the end of June and might work well for him. He'll arrive back in Chicago from Dubai, then have April and May mostly off before preparing to race again in June, and that's when those races are."