Trainer Wesley Ward Loaded for Bear for Royal Ascot Meeting. Begins Today

royal ascot paddock

Wesley Ward is delighted to be back in Britain as he saddles another strong team of runners for Royal Ascot [begins today].

It is 12 years since the then little-known American became the first US-based trainer to land a winner at the showpiece meeting, with Strike The Tiger claiming a 33-1 victory in the Windsor Castle. The following day, he sent out Jealous Again to win the Queen Mary Stakes.

The outbreak of coronavirus meant Ward was forced to watch on from his base in Kentucky as Campanelle provided him with a fourth Queen Mary win and an 11th Royal Ascot triumph overall under Frankie Dettori last summer.

But the relaxation of restrictions means the popular handler will be on course this time – and with fast ground forecast, confidence is high that he can add to his tally.

“The sun is shining, and the horses are looking fantastic, so we’re golden at the moment,” said Ward. “The horses have settled in really well and I feel I have a strong squad. They have all proven worthy of bringing over, thanks to the performances back home, and now it is just a question of whether they are good enough. They are certainly going to bring their A-game to the table, although whether that is up to the level of their competition, we are going to find out.”

Read on about Wesley Ward and Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot Meeting Fit for a Queen

source: Ascot

June 17 (UPI) — It’s the event around which the Her Majesty the Queen structures her year, the week that lures Thoroughbred champions from around the world, the week that pits the best against the best and makes heroes and champions.

It evolved long before the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, World Cup night in Dubai, the Turf World Championships in Hong Kong — in fact, centuries before any of those.

Yes, indeed. It’s the Royal Meeting at Ascot, a short train ride west from London and a long trip back in time. Racing was first conducted at the site in 1711 and that heritage is honored to this day.

The meeting starts Tuesday and runs through Saturday, with eight Group 1 races scattered throughout and plenty more action elsewhere on the card. Fashion counts, too, especially in the Royal Enclosure where the Queen alights from her carriage each day and pays close attention to the racing. As well she might. As keen a horsewoman as she is steadfast a monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has owned 23 Royal Ascot winners, dating back to 1952.

William Haggas, who admits to having “a lot of horses for Her Majesty the Queen,” said at the event preview, “I’ve had no luck for her at Royal Ascot yet. But to try and win a race there would be big stuff for us and we try hard to do so.” He will field the Queen’s Magnetic Charm in the Coronation Stakes and Seniority in the Royal Hunt Cup…