Ward delays Royal Ascot arrival but still thinks Lady is a champ
Royal Ascot ace Lady Aurelia, whose King's Stand Stakes clash with Battaash promises to be one of the highlights of the meeting, had her trainer Wesley Ward drooling following her latest workout at Keeneland on Saturday.
The 2016 Queen Mary winner, who returned to Berkshire 12 months ago to capture the King's Stand, had been due to arrive in Britain on Monday along with the rest of Ward's raiders - which is thought to number around 16 - but their journey has been delayed a week to allow another leg-stretch at Keeneland.
The brilliant Battaash, who won the Prix de l'Abbaye last year and returned to action with victory in Haydock's Temple Stakes recently, is generally 5-2 for the Ascot Group 1 on June 19, while Lady Aurelia can be backed at 7-2.
Ward, it seems, would not swap his daughter of Scat Daddy for anything.
Wesley Ward's nine Royal Ascot winners
Lady Aurelia 2017 King's Stand
Con Te Partiro 2017 Sandringham
Lady Aurelia 2016 Queen Mary
Undrafted 2015 Diamond Jubilee
Acapulco 2015 Queen Mary
Hootenanny 2014 Windsor Castle
No Nay Never 2013 Norfolk
Jealous Again 2009 Queen Mary
Strike The Tiger 2009 Windsor Castle
"She did great today, she really did," Ward said after seeing his pride and joy scorch over five furlongs under work-rider Julio Garcia.
"She sat there, and just kind of cruised right off and did everything right with her ears pricking back and forth. Looked like she was very, very happy. Made me very happy."
Ward, the most successful non-European trainer at Royal Ascot, also put fellow possibles Hemp Hemp Hurray (Jersey Stakes), Bound For Nowhere (Diamond Jubilee), Master Merion (Royal Hunt Cup), Undrafted (Wokingham) plus a host of juveniles through their paces at Keeneland on Saturday.
When they arrive in Britain, they will be based at Paul Cole's historic Derby-winning Whatcombe yard and, explaining the delay to their trip, Ward added: "I was going to ship Monday and work at Newbury, but they have a race meet coming up.
"Keeneland was gracious enough to let us work on the turf the following week. My horses love it here."
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