By Jon Lees
USA: Wesley Ward has received three yearlings from Qatar Racing’s breeding farm in Britain to train in the US to race at Royal Ascot in 2022.
The trio, all by the Australian champion sire Zoustar, who is standing at Tweenhills Stud, have arrived at Ward’s base in Keeneland, Kentucky for the start of what Qatar Racing racing manager David Redvers described as “an interesting project”.
American Ward has trained 12 winners at Royal Ascot and the two fillies and one colt he has in his care are all from precocious families.
He has a filly out of Lightening Quick, a Frankel daughter of Cheveley Park winner Lightening Pearl, another out of Queen Mary third Out Of The Flames and a colt out of Wind Fire, who finished third behind Ward’s No Nay Never in the Norfolk Stakes.
“You could say it’s unusual unless you look at who’s been the most successful trainer of two-year-olds at Royal Ascot these last few years,” said Redvers. “That’s basically what this is about.
“When Wesley was in Newmarket, where Sheikh Fahad lives, in the run-up to Ascot, I got a phone call saying he would like to bring Wesley up to the farm to look at the Zoustars because they looked like his type of horse, fast and pure speed.
“Wesley came up and it was quite interesting because he didn’t want to look at any pedigrees. He just picked out the three he liked best. The three he chose were the same three I’d have put top of my shopping list if I’d had to choose three for him on pedigree.
“Any winner at Ascot is immeasurably important. Most of our efforts go into finding horses to run there, that plus Champions Day and the Derby, where we’re all looking for stallion prospects.
“But before anyone starts jumping up and down saying it shows a lack of confidence in British trainers, it’s not the case at all. It’s an interesting project. Sheikh Fahad has a lot of strong Zoustars.”