Wesley Ward flying the flag for America with star-studded team for Royal Ascot
Wesley Ward is one of the leading racehorse trainers in American racing and every year he takes a number of his talented runners over to Royal Ascot and dons his top hat.
Ward had his first Royal Ascot winner in 2009 with Strike The Tiger, a 33/1 longshot, and in doing so also became the first American trainer to win at the famous meeting.
Since that day he has been a staple at the British racing festival, taking his overall tally to 11 wins, with his proudest moment coming in 2015 when Undrafted won the 2015 Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The horse was part-owned by former New England Patriots and Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker.
“All of my children have this week earmarked on their calendars and enjoy a family holiday in England,” Ward said about Royal Ascot.
“Frankie Dettori’s ride when Undrafted won the Diamond Jubilee is the best ride I’ve had on one of my horses in 31 years,” he recalled. “He does not realize how great he is. For him to win a race like that, in that manner, the Queen to give me the trophy and all my kids to get in on the photograph, was priceless.”
Be sure to check out our full Royal Ascot horse racing guide, which includes when and where to watch it.
Which horses are running for Wesley Ward at Royal Ascot 2021?
This year, Ward has sent nine horses to run at Royal Ascot, including seven two-year-olds, as he looks to improve on his excellent record and bring even more riches back to the United States.
Two of his standout horses are likely to be Campanelle, who is a leading contender for the Commonwealth Cup and won last year’s Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, while two-year-old Kaufymaker is the hot favorite for the Coventry Stakes.
Here is what Ward had to say about those two runners:
Campanelle, Commonwealth Cup
She did great last year, winning the Queen Mary and the Prix Morny before coming fourth at the Breeders’ Cup. She wintered down in Florida, where she did well, and we planned to bring her back at Keeneland but she bruised her heels, which meant we had to scratch her.
We’ve been cautious with her and it’s definitely helped as she’s 100 percent again and her work has been great. She runs in the Commonwealth Cup and showed on the gallops at Newmarket on Sunday morning that she’d taken the flight well. Frankie rode her and she dominated one of our other Ascot runners, Golden Bell, quite eye-catchingly.
Kaufymaker, Coventry Stakes
I don’t like singling out any of my horses as they’re all here on merit and hopefully have a chance, but judged on the way she works I’m very excited about this filly. Her track form was decent but her breezes have been great from day one and have got better and better each time.
I’d been thinking of a race at Belmont for her when we decided to give her a shot on the Keeneland turf just to see how she’d take to it and she was the most impressive of all the breezers I had during the first week. She was ultra-impressive again next time and just hasn’t stopped pleasing me. I’d love to win the Coventry Stakes and she’s likely to be going there rather than her other option of the Queen Mary. She’d have the best chance of any of mine from their home workouts.
Royal Ascot picks and predictions
All throughout Royal Ascot, Pickswise will be delivering you free picks and predictions for every single horse race of the festival, including the opening Queen Anne Stakes, the marathon Ascot Gold Cup, and the Saturday showpiece Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
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