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Wesley Ward Set to Travel to Royal Ascot with Strong Team

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  • Digital Team 

US-based trainer Wesley Ward is somebody who has had a lot of success at the major tracks in New York. The Washington Thoroughbred Hall of Famer, whose career began in 1991, goes into the 2024 Royal Ascot meeting with one of his strongest-ever teams.

With 12 winners at the meeting, Ward is the most successful US trainer in Royal Ascot history. His last triumph at the UK-based meeting was in 2021 when Campanelle won the Commonwealth Cup. He will now be hoping to end his wait for another success.

Four Runners Will Feature at the Royal Meeting for Ward

Ward will travel to the UK on June 12 with four horses from his barn. One of his leading chances this year comes with Saturday Flirt, who will feature in the Norfolk Stakes. She will need to overcome the home favorite, Whistlejacket, who tops the Royal Ascot odds at +250. Ward’s filly made an impressive debut when winning on turf earlier this year.

Ultima Grace is likely to be one of the leading Royal Ascot betting tips this year for Ward in the Queen Mary Stakes. She was also successful on her debut when she made every yard of the running in that impressive first appearance. Ward’s filly will be ridden by the experienced John Velazquez, a jockey who has had a lot of success at the prestigious UK meeting.

Later in the week, Burning Pine will line up in the Albany Stakes for the American. Ward has yet to win the two-year-old contest for fillies, but his latest entry will have an excellent chance under the hands of Joel Rosario.

The multiple Royal Ascot winning trainer has yet to decide which race Honorary American will feature in across the five days. The colt is versatile over several distances, and his trainer may leave it until the final declarations before he makes his decision. 

First Royal Ascot Success Came In 2009

History was made in 2009 when Ward became the first American trainer to make the trip across to the prestigious Flat meeting in the UK with one of his horses. He won the Windsor Castle Stakes with Strike The Tiger. In what was a big moment in Ward’s career, his horse made all the running to cause an upset in the Listed contest.

Ward did not have to wait long for a second Royal Ascot winner as it came just a day later in the 2009 Queen Mary Stakes. His filly, Jealous Again, prevailed in the Group Two race on just her third career appearance. 

Group One Victories for Undrafted and Lady Aurelia

An opening Group One success arrived for Ward at Royal Ascot in 2015 when Undrafted won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the meeting. His sprinter scored in the 6f contest with Frankie Dettori on his back.

Arguably the most talented filly Ward has ever trained has been Lady Aurelia. She won the King’s Stand Stakes in 2017. It was her second straight triumph at the meeting, as she also won the Queen Mary Stakes 12 months earlier.

Ward will be hoping to celebrate more success at the royal meeting when the latest renewal concludes on June 22.

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