Wesley Ward worked the majority of his Royal Ascot runners at the Berkshire venue on Wednesday, with Ryan Moore, Jamie Spencer and Pat Cosgrave sharing the work.
Here is a guide to what races Ward's challengers are running in plus some inside track from the trainer and the jockeys who rode them.
General odds: 8-1
Worked well under Jamie Spencer in a piece of work with McErin, the Norfolk favourite. No horse took longer to pull up afterwards. Ward said: “That guy really stepped it up today. It was beautiful work. He’s a very stout colt and that’s the best work I’ve ever seen him do today. It shows that he really likes the course. He worked good at Keeneland but nothing like that. He took McErin right down to the wire and I was really happy to see that. At home, he has a longer stride and eventually he is going to be a miler. Yesterday's work was much better than we saw at Keeneland."
Race: King’s Stand
Came home ahead of Bound For Nowhere and Con Te Partiro under Ryan Moore. “This is her place, this is where she shines,” Ward said of the daughter of Scat Daddy. “She walked into the paddock here like she’s been here training every day of her life. Once she warmed up, Ryan said you could have ridden her with two fingers. He kicked off with her ears pricked and when he said ‘go’ she was gone. She finished up strong and is as fit as any racehorse can be.”
Race: Windsor Castle
Was the one Ward runner who did nothing to enhance her claims. Ridden by Jamie Spencer, she struggled to keep tabs on fellow Windsor Castle entry Nootka Sound. Either that, or Nootka Sound is a bit special.
Race: Windsor Castle
Moved nicely in her spin with Elizabeth Darcy, faring much the best of the pair. “She’s a nice big, relaxed type and is just naturally very fast,” jockey Pat Cosgrave said. “She stretched out well on that ground.”
HAPPY LIKE A FOOL
Race: Queen Mary
Ridden by Jamie Spencer, Happy Like A Fool had a solid spin with Princess Peggy and the pair finished upsides without being asked any serious questions. She is evidently firmly on target to try to win a fourth Queen Mary for the trainer. "She is great - doing super. All the two-year-olds are doing great, but Happy Like A Fool has so much speed and Jamie was very excited about her. She's a really special filly."
CON TE PARTIRO
Race: Sandringham Handicap
Worked behind fellow three-year-olds Lady Aurelia and Bound For Nowhere. She has plenty of speed but is proven over a mile. “It was an easy breeze,” jockey Jamie Spencer said.
A big unit who worked well under Ryan Moore in his work with the Coventry-bound Arawak. "I knew from the start that he would be a Norfolk contender," Ward said. "He has shown a lot of speed in everything he has done at home. He is a compact sprinter type of horse. He has an all-dirt pedigree but he has been much better on the grass. I think he has a really big chance."
Race: Albany Stakes
Fairyland was the one Ward runner not at Ascot on Wednesday but he is not concerned. “She did beautiful work the day before last at Keeneland,” he said. "Fairyland will hopefully be in the Albany Stakes rather than the Queen May but that is up to Coolmore.
Race: Albany Stakes
Odds: not quoted.
The trainer had identified Princess Peggy as maybe the weak link in his team but she’s no longer that after a pleasing spin under Ryan Moore in the company of Happy Like A Fool. Ward said: “I just had a little question mark as to whether she was going to be good enough, but Ryan was all smiles, said she worked fantastic and that I should not shy away from anything. He said she loves the firm ground and the further she goes the better. Her work was a big bonus.”
BOUND FOR NOWHERE
Race: Commonwealth Cup
Ward has given several upbeat bulletins about the unbeaten Bound For Nowhere and liked the way he moved behind Lady Aurelia. He said: “I didn’t have my watch on him but I can guarantee that was a glitzy fast piece of work.”
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