By Jon Lees
USA: Royal Ascot perennial Wesley Ward has started preparations for his assault on Britain’s June jamboree early by taking the winter wraps off unbeaten sprinter Four Wheel Drive.
Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner travelled to Turfway Park from Ward’s base in Keeneland to complete a half-mile workout on the Polytrack surface.
“Man, it was just a beautiful sight – really, really nice,” Ward told the Bloodhorse.
The son of American Pharoah is set to reappear during the Keeneland Spring Meet, held in April, in the Palisades Turf Sprint, which could be used as a stepping stone to the royal meeting.
Ward, who is also preparing last year’s Queen Mary Stakes runner-up Kimari for a Keeneland return, said of Four Wheel Drive: “He looks like a little dragster. He’s all speed. He’s got a beautiful mind to him, which is what makes it nice.”
While Ward embarks on a tried-and-trusted schedule another Royal Ascot possible, the Graham Motion-trained Sharing, who beat Britain’s Daahyeh to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf, stepped out at the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida for the first time this year.
The filly, who was sent to the warmth of Florida after spending a month at Motion’s Maryland base after the Breeders’ Cup, could make her seasonal debut in the Group 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Downs next month and has been mooted as a potential Coronation Stakes candidate come the summer.
“By all accounts (Motion) is pleased with her and we’re just hoping we have a good month and get her on schedule to launch her sophomore campaign,” said Aron Wellman of owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.