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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Ward team set for early look at course as Newmarket dries out

Wesley Ward's Coventry Stakes hope Arawak after exercise on Tuesday morning
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Wesley Ward is off to Ascot earlier than planned with nine of his ten royal runners on Wednesday after the dry spell put paid to plans to work some of his contenders at Newmarket on Tuesday.

The US trainer, who arrived at headquarters only on Monday, ditched plans to work members of his team on the Rowley Mile after inspecting the track and will instead rehearse at the host venue.

Nine of his runners are already based at the National Stud, including last year's Queen Mary winner Lady Aurelia, and the team is due to be bolstered by one on Tuesday evening when juvenile filly Fairyland joins the party after being prevented from flying at the last minute a week ago.

The daughter of Scat Daddy, who is 4-1 second favourite for the Albany Stakes, had been found to have warts on her mouth but these have been treated and she is flying in with fellow US hopes American Patriot (Todd Pletcher) and Long On Value ( Bill Mott).

One horse not on the flight, however, is Simon Callaghan's Norfolk Stakes hopeful Run Away who was scratched after failing to sparkle in his final piece of work.

Ward said: "These horses are ready to explode right now and I was fretting about the ground here until about ten o'clock last night deciding what to do but I feel it is just too hard.

"Even with the great Frankie Dettori in the saddle if one got away because they were feeling so good they could be out of the race so I thought it best to err on the side of caution."

The Ascot workout marks a first for Ward, who said: "We've never had permission to work the track before and thanks go to Chris Stickels who is to stick a bit of water on today for us. We're all set to take nine down there in the morning and will work three sets of three."

Win, lose or draw at Ascot next week, Ward has his eyes on a fresh British challenge at the end of next month. He said: "One race I'd really like to win is the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood. I've never had a runner at the meeting before, which I believe they call glorious, which sounds nice."

Even with the great Frankie Dettori in the saddle if one got away because they were feeling so good they could be out of the race
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