Wizard Ward fends off Coolmore's Goddess with Con Te Partiro
Wesley Ward, so often the bane of bookmakers at Royal Ascot, came to their rescue as Con Te Partiro, a 20-1 shot, denied a gamble on Aidan O'Brien runner Rain Goddess under a typical Jamie Spencer ride on the straight course.
Ward was recording his ninth victory – and his second this week after Lady Aurelia on Tuesday – at a meeting at which only one other US trainer has ever been successful.
The trainer's thoughts on Spencer's ride altered rather dramatically during the race, and he said: "I was cursing Jamie in the early part of the race as I didn't know what he was doing. I won't repeat the names I was calling him. But it all turned out brilliantly.
"Jamie did it all on his own - there were no instructions. Con Te Partiro is a filly with a lot of antics about her, but she's very talented and it's a fantastic result to bring her here and win.
"Jamie sure had the magic at the end. It was crazy. The ride got us there today."
Spencer, for whom this was a 23rd Royal Ascot winner, and his third in the Sandringham, weaved his way through to catch and beat Rain Goddess by one and a quarter lengths after Ryan Moore had brought the runner-up from the back of the field.
It looked a winning move by the Ballydoyle filly, but Con Te Partiro finished too strongly for her, making up somewhat for hotpot stablemate Happy Like A Fool being turned over in the Queen Mary earlier in the day.
O'Brien said of Rain Goddess: "I'm delighted with her. It was a lovely run and she travelled into the race very well. She's progressing all the time and we're very pleased with her."
Paco's Angel ran a stormer for Racing Post columnist Richard Hughes to be third at 33-1, while Queen Of Time travelled well and always looked likely to be involved in the finish, though she flattened out a little in the last half-furlong to be fourth.
US-TRAINED WINNERS AT ROYAL ASCOT
Year | Race | Horse | Trainer
2009 Windsor Castle Stakes, Strike The Tiger, Wesley Ward
Queen Mary Stakes, Jealous Again, Wesley Ward
2013 Norfolk Stakes, No Nay Never, Wesley Ward
2014 Windsor Castle Stakes, Hootenanny, Wesley Ward
2015 Queen Mary Stakes, Acapulco, Wesley Ward
Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Undrafted, Wesley Ward
2016 Queen Anne Stakes, Tepin, Mark Casse
Queen Mary Stakes, Lady Aurelia, Wesley Ward
2017 King’s Stand Stakes, Lady Aurelia, Wesley Ward
Sandringham Handicap, Con Te Partiro, Wesley Ward