‘We had some really nice works’ – Wesley Ward preps Maven and six juveniles for Royal Ascot

Horse Racing Wesley Ward trainer of Maven ready for Royal Ascot
Wesley Ward: 11-time Royal Ascot winning trainer preparing another challenge for Royal Ascot. Photo: Coady Photography/Keeneland

By Keeneland Communications

USA: Maven, a G3 winner in France in 2019, completed a half-mile workout on Friday when a group of Wesley Ward’s potential Royal Ascot team took to the Keeneland turf track.

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Maven, who won at Keeneland on his 2021 debut in April, exercised as well as some of the two-year-olds who could be heading to Britain next month seeking to add to the American’s tally of 11 royal meeting victories.

“We had some really nice works,” Ward said about the performances. “(The Keeneland turf course) is a true grass course. It’s similar to the courses in England.”

Keeneland clockers caught Maven, working in company with G1 Madison winner Kimari, in 47.80s. Maven is intended for the 5f King’s Stand Stakes on June 15, while Kimari is being pointed to Saratoga for her next start in the July 28 Honorable Miss.

Ward’s juvenile turf workers all won their career debuts in April: Nakatomi (Norfolk Stakes) was clocked in 50.40s in company with Tea Olive 52.00s; Stonestreet Stable-owned pair Ruthin (Queen Mary) in 48.60s and Napa Spirit (Norfolk) in 48.80s; Golden Bell (Albany) was timed in 48.20s in company with her faster workmate, Kaufymaker (47.80s) an effort which has earned her consideration for Royal Ascot.

Campanelle, who last year captured the Queen Mary before taking the Prix Morny, has been working on Sundays on the turf course at Churchill Downs in a schedule based on the availability of the Keeneland course.

Ward has Campanelle scheduled to make her 2021 debut in the Commonwealth Cup in which a win at Royal Ascot two years in a row would equal the feat of Lady Aurelia, who Ward trained to win the 2016 Queen Mary and 2017 King’s Stand.

The trainer’s other possible two-year-old starters at Royal Ascot this year include Overbore (Coventry), Lucci (Norfolk) and Twilight Gleaming (Windsor Castle).

Ward said the horses would depart June 1 on a flight from Indianapolis and be based at the National Stud in Newmarket. He plans to fly to England following Bound For Nowhere’s start in the Jaipur on June 5 at Belmont Park and oversee the final works by his contingent before their Royal Ascot races.

“I’m getting excited,” he said.

The Brendan Walsh-trained Extravagant Kid, who won the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai in March, is still under consideration for two races at the meet: the King’s Stand and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Extravagant Kid has recorded two half-mile breezes at Keeneland on dirt this month and is scheduled to work again on Saturday.

“Flying out on the first or second (of June),” Walsh said via text about travel plans for Extravagant Kid. “I’m not sure if I’m going yet. Depends on the quarantine restrictions.”

Kings Stand Stakes betting (Ladbrokes): 2 Battaash, 100-30 Glass Slippers, 6 Oxted, Winter Power, 10 Extravagant Kid, Lazuli, Liberty Beach, 12 Maven, Que Amoro, 14 bar

Commonwealth Cup betting (Ladbrokes): 4 Campanelle, 6 Suesa, 7 Lucky Vega, 8 Dragon Symbol, 10 Alcohol Free, Diligent Harry, Measure Of Magic, 12 bar

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