Ward unleashes triple assault in search of Juvenile Turf Sprint hat-trick

Wesley Ward possesses a formidable hand in his bid for a third successive victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Del Mar.

The Washington-born handler claimed the Grade Two prize with Four Wheel Drive at Santa Anita in 2019, while Golden Pal struck gold on his home track of Keeneland 12 months ago.

Ward appears intent on adding to his tally in the first of this year’s Breeders’ Cup races, with the unbeaten Averly Jane joined by stablemates Twilight Gleaming and Kaufymaker.

The latter pair were both seen in action at Royal Ascot earlier in the year, with Twilight Gleaming filling the runner-up spot in the Queen Mary and Kaufymaker finishing down the field in the Coventry.

Ward said: “We’re doing good and everything looks great.

“Averly Jane is going to be tough (to beat), but I like Twilight Gleaming too. She’s in there with a really good chance as well and I think Kaufymaker is coming into it in good shape too.

“All three have good chances and they all deserve to be there.”

The British challenge is made up of Dave Loughnane’s Go Bears Go, the Brian Meehan-trained Vertiginous, Hugo Palmer’s Hierarchy and Armor from Richard Hannon’s yard.

Railway Stakes winner Go Bears Go is fitted with blinkers for the first time as he bids to bounce back from a disappointing effort in the Dewhurst at Newmarket last month.

Go Bears Go winning the Railway Stakes at the Curragh
Go Bears Go winning the Railway Stakes at the Curragh (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

“He’s been a star – he’s not missed a beat,” said Loughnane.

“Things didn’t go to plan in the Dewhurst and with hindsight we probably should have gone for the Middle Park and come straight here.

“We freshened him up since the Dewhurst, everything seems to be going to plan, he’s in good form and I couldn’t be happier with him.

“He’s had a long year, but the owners were quite keen to come and there aren’t many opportunities to have a crack at a pot like this.

“He’s danced every dance so far and if it works, great, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.”

Vertiginous was last seen winning the Listed Harry Rosebery Stakes at Ayr and Meehan could not be happier with how she has settled in since arriving in America.

He said: “She’s travelled really well and she looks fantastic. She’s tip-top.

“I got on a pony myself to get alongside her the other day, doing that it means you can just change your plans when you want to. I think this course could be perfect.

“I think she’s a serious sprinter and it’s great to get Javier (Castellano) on her.

“I think she’s got something special, but whatever we see, we’ll see more from her next year.”

Hierarchy (left) was narrowly beaten by Wings Of War in the Mill Reef Stakes
Hierarchy (left) was narrowly beaten by Wings Of War in the Mill Reef Stakes (Steven Paston/PA)

Palmer expects a drop in distance to bring the best out of Mill Reef runner-up Hierarchy, saying: “He’s been doing great and has been Group-placed twice in England.

“He was just touched off a head over six furlongs in the Mill Reef and I think coming back a furlong to five should really suit him.

“We’re hopeful, but that’s all we can be at this stage.”

Irish hopes are carried by the Michael O’Callaghan-trained Twilight Jet, who successfully reverted to the minimum distance in Newmarket’s Cornwallis Stakes four weeks ago.

“It’s nice to have a horse good enough to come and compete – we feel,” said O’Callaghan.

“He’s getting better, his ratings show that. He takes his travelling so well, he’s got a great constitution as he can take so much racing and get better with it.

“With every run he’s just got stronger, developed and got bulkier – he’s thriving.

“He’s a very balanced horse and handles the dip at Newmarket like it’s not there, so that bodes well – and he’s been around the turn at Dundalk to teach him to quicken around the bend and he managed that.

“Most horses don’t run 10 times as a two-year-old, but he’s a little bit different.”

Other Recent Posts by This Author:

Your first 30 days for just £1
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.