Campanelle sights firmly set on Commonwealth Cup

Wed 12 May 2021

Wesley Ward reports star filly Campanelle to be in “fantastic order” ahead of her return to Royal Ascot next month.

The daughter of Kodiac provided the popular American trainer with his fourth victory in the Queen Mary Stakes at the showpiece meeting last June before going on to beat the boys in the Prix Morny at Deauville.

She could only finish fourth on her final appearance as a juvenile trying a mile for the first time at the Breeders’ Cup, but is reported to be firing on all cylinders ahead of an intended outing in the Commonwealth Cup on June 18.

Bet365 make her a standout 7-1, with other firms going as short as 4-1.

Ward said: “She had a beautiful breeze at Churchill Downs on the grass on Sunday and came out of it in fantastic order.

 Campanelle is heading for the Commonwealth Cup (Focusonracing)
Campanelle is heading for the Commonwealth Cup (Focusonracing)

“We’re going to keep working each and every Sunday all the way up until we get on the plane.”

The Washington-born handler had originally planned to give Campanelle a prep outing, but having missed an engagement in April, he has decided to run her at the Royal meeting first time out.

He added: “We’re going to train her right in there. She’s training great and has fired well off a lay-off in the past.

“When she arrives (in Britain) she’ll go to the Rowley Mile in Newmarket, or wherever they want us to go, and she should be right on target for the Commonwealth Cup.”

Ward is assembling another strong team of juveniles for the Royal meeting, with several having booked their ticket across the Atlantic with runaway victories in recent weeks.

The filly pencilled in to follow in Campanelle’s hoofprints in the Queen Mary is Ruthin, who made a hugely impressive start to her career when blitzing her rivals at Keeneland. She is 9-2 for the Queen Mary with Betfair and Paddy Power.

Wesley Ward - Royal Ascot 2018 - Focusonracing

Discussing some of his two-year-old team, Ward said: “Ruthin is headed for the Queen Mary and we had a nice winner on Sunday at Belmont called Lucci. He’s a really nice colt and we’re going to go for the Norfolk with him.

“We’ve got Golden Bell for the Albany, and then we had a nice winner over the weekend called Twilight Gleaming and she will probably go for the Windsor Castle.”

Two Ward-trained stars who are not bound for Berkshire are Like A King and Golden Pal.

The St James’s Palace Stakes was mooted as a possible target for Like A King prior to his creditable effort in the Kentucky Derby at the start of the month, while top-class sprinter Golden Pal is being readied for the Nunthorpe at York in August following an early-season setback.

“Like A King was my first Kentucky Derby starter. I always wanted to come with a horse with a chance and I thought he had a chance, just because he comes from way back with a big run,” said Ward.

“He gave us a little thrill there turning for home when he made up a bunch of ground. He got within five lengths of the lead and the commentator said ‘and here comes Like The King’, which gave us all a little thrill, and then down the lane he just flattened out a bit.

“I think he’d be good on the grass in a race like the St James’s Palace, but I think we’re going to run him in a stakes race at Churchill and then go to the Belmont Derby.

“Golden Pal is here at Keeneland and will be running around Ascot time here at home – maybe a week or two after Ascot.

“After that, we’re going to centre in on the Nunthorpe.”

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