Golden Pal returns to Royal Ascot with Wesley Ward | Race news – NewsRaiser

Golden Pal is set to return to UK soil as Wesley Ward hopes to lead the US contingent at Royal Ascot.

The four-year-old has already won this season, winning the Tier 2 Shakertown Stakes in Keeneland on April 9 by impressive four and three-quarter margins.

The performance had Ward expecting big things from the sprinter when he joins the team of horses for the coach’s regular pilgrimage to the royal meeting in June.

“Gold Buddy is doing great, really. I have been chanting the praises of this horse for several years now, and the only thing he has yet to do is win on your spot. I hope he can do it!” Ward spoke about the King’s Stand Stakes participant.

“It was a powerful performance from him at Shakertown, but it was a comeback and I really think his next run will be something special. This is a once in a lifetime horse – definitely the best I’ve ever had – and I think he’ll celebrate with his performance at Ascot if he runs the way I expect him to.

“Physically he is now a brilliant specimen, and mentally he is really coming into his own. I’m so glad he’s back there.”

Another Ward runner heading to the Berkshires this summer is Platinum Jubilee contender Campanel, a two-time Royal Reunion winner after winning the Queen Mary in 2020 and the Commonwealth Cup last year, though he won the last steward’s room race.

“Barbara Bank (owner) and her team are thrilled to have Campanel back there. The other day she showed great results in her victory in Keenland. If you look at that race with some of the fastest fillies in the country, everything she did was pretty impressive,” Ward said.

“Between her and Golden Pal, I think we have a great chance. They are in races that I have already won and I really feel like this couple is also racing in their races if not better than my previous winners.”

Ward has had 12 winners at the royal meeting, eight of whom were minors, and the coach hopes he will again be well represented in the biennial competition this year.

“This week in Keeneland, we have the first herbal maids for two-year-olds in the United States,” he said.

“There are also young girls in Churchill Downs and Belmont Park. I will have riders at these races and how they get along will determine who travels.”

Another U.S. coach with an eye on Ascot is Christophe Clement, who was a handful of rookies built for their established stars.

Junior Filly Breeders Cup winner Pizza Bianca threw her hat into the Coronation Stakes ring, while Slipstream, Derrynane and Big Invasion compete in the Commonwealth Cup.

“For Pizza Bianca, all options are open after the second restaurant in Aqueduct last weekend. I haven’t had any talks with the owner yet and I think we’ll make a decision in the next two to three weeks,” Clement said.

“We have a great three year old grass filly program right now, especially the New York Triple Crown. I am very happy to leave her here for this, but if the owner wants to go to Ascot, I am also very happy to do so if we think she will be competitive.

“In four weeks there will be another betting race in Pimlico that she can enter and from there you can go to Ascot. The filly will tell us what she wants to do, but at the moment all options are wide open.”

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes could have a rival from Japan as coach Hideaki Fujiwara prepares a race for his Dubai Sheema Classic hero Shahriyar.

“I am honored to be a runner at Royal Ascot in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,” he said.

“I spoke with the owner (Sunday Racing Co Ltd) about future plans after Shahriyar won the Dubai Sheema Classic and we agreed that Shahriyar’s next goal should be the best racing in the world.

“I think the Prince of Wales Stakes is the perfect place for a horse.”

Chris Waller competed in Australia’s Nature Strip and Home Affairs sprint competitions, with each horse initially competing in the Platinum Jubilee and King’s Stand.

Waller’s assistant coach and race director Charlie Duckworth said: “We have nominated both the Nature Strip and the Interior Department for the King’s Stand Stakes and Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

“We have to keep our options open because anything can happen to the horses, but we should definitely have an exciting royal reunion.

“Chris is incredibly excited to be entrusted with coaching a sprint champion, but having two champions in the same year is amazing.

“Then being able to get into Royal Ascot, especially in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, makes it even more special.”

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