Wesley Ward trained Lady Aurelia to run out a spectacular winner of the Queen Mary Stakes last year and Ward is coming back for more glory at Ascot
AMERICAN speedster Lady Aurelia will warm up for her return to Royal Ascot in the Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday.
The Wesley Ward-trained filly was a spectacular winner of the Queen Mary Stakes last June before following up in the Prix Morny at Deauville.
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She suffered defeat on her final juvenile appearance, when only third in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, but Ward is relishing her comeback ahead of her return to Britain in the summer.
He told Press Association Sport: “I’m very happy with the filly and looking forward to getting her started.
“The race on Saturday is not a Graded race, but it’s for three-year-olds and up and some of the best turf sprinting fillies will be there.
“This will be her prep race for Ascot, where I think the King’s Stand will be her target.
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“With her being a three-year-old we’ll probably enter her up for the Commonwealth Cup as well, but I think she’s better over five furlongs.”
Should Lady Aurelia line up in the King’s Stand, she could clash with former stable companion Acapulco.
Acapulco won the Queen Mary for Ward two years ago before filling the runner-up spot in the Nunthorpe at York behind Mecca’s Angel.
She is now trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien.
“I wish Aidan the best of luck, but I wish myself a little but more luck,” joked Ward.
“Acapulco is a big monster, whereas Lady Aurelia is more of a Mighty Mouse.”
The likeable American trainer is no stranger success at Ascot, having first struck in 2009 with juveniles Strike The Tiger and Jealous Again.
He hopes to assemble another strong team for the showpiece fixture and two of his juveniles have already put their name forward having impressed on home soil.
“I’ve got a couple of two-year-old fillies who won last week and I think both are pretty good,” said Ward.
“Fairyland is a very good filly by Scat Daddy, owned by Coolmore. She won very nicely at Keeneland the other day.
“Happy Like A Fool, who won a couple of days later, is a Distorted Humor filly that I bred myself.
“She won brilliantly and I think she’ll be effective on the dirt and the turf.
“This is a very exciting time of year and you know me with Ascot – it’s what I live for!”