Ward Duo Target Royal Ascot

Campanelle | Scoop Dyga

Group 1 winner Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) and Breeders' Cup victor Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) are both targeting the 2021 Royal Ascot meeting trainer Wesley Ward has announced.

The filly, a Stonestreet Stables colourbearer, will line up for the G1 Commonwealth Cup during the Royal Meeting. In 2020, Campanelle captured the G3 Queen Mary S. and then returned to Europe to add the G1 Prix Morny to her haul later in the summer. Although she has been entered in the G1 1000 Guineas and Irish equivalent, it is more likely that the six furlongs of the Commonwealth Cup holds greater appeal.

“Barbara [Banke, owner of Stonestreet Stables] is really keen on Ascot and I think six furlongs–and that's a stiff six at Ascot for the Commonwealth–with a little weight break for being a filly, that will be our main target,” Ward said via Zoom to the British Horseracing Authorityi's 2-year-old classifications press conference. “I'm kind of working from that race backwards–the Guineas really don't come into play right now unless when she's at the farm, the team gets together and decides to go in another direction.

“Our main goal would be the Commonwealth. Barbara and her whole team are really looking forward to getting back [to Royal Ascot]. She worked last week for the first time at Barbara's farm at Ocala and she looked like she's ready to go, so we're all excited.”

Golden Pal, owned by Ranlow Investments, ran second in the G2 Norfolk S. in just his second start before successful efforts in Saratoga's Skidmore S. on Sept. 21 and the GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland on Nov. 6. The plan is the G1 King's Stand S. at Royal Ascot.

“We're really excited about this guy,” said Ward. “He will come back opening day at Keeneland, which is Apr. 1. Every year they have a straight, 3-year-old, $100-$150,000 stakes race over five and a half furlongs and that will crack off the season for him.

“He's doing fantastic–he came out of the Breeders' Cup in great shape and we're going to try the same route we did with Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy) and go to the King's Stand with him. I think the five should see him right between the ears there. He's grown in height and he's broadening out–he's a really beautiful colt right now. I think he's going to be a tremendous sprinter this year.”

However, the King's Stand S. is not the only overseas goal for the colt. The G1 Nunthorpe S. against elders has been set as a longer-term target for Golden Pal.

“The Nunthorpe has eluded me and that will almost be the main goal for this guy,” Ward continued. “We're going back to the King's Stand [first], but as the summer progresses the 3-year-olds catch up to the 4-year-olds and I'm really looking forward to that race at York.

“This guy [Golden Pal] has proven he can go on all types of ground–he's a very exciting sprinter, one of the best I've ever trained and hopefully could be the best with the accomplishments we've set out for him this spring, summer and hopefully culminating in the fall.

“He's a really, really exciting horse to train, so we're looking forward to it. Battaash (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) is a very worthy opponent. The years are hopefully behind him, but I'm a big fan of his and when you get these good sprinters matched together, it just brings excitement to everyone involved in racing.”

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