Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy), John Velazquez up, wins the Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Keeneland 4.15.16. Wesley Ward trainer, Stonestreet Stables owner.
Trainer Wesley Ward’s battalion of Royal Ascot runners took a spin over the Ascot course Wednesday morning, and it appears as though that hasn’t gone over well with some of the local horsemen.
The Racing Post reports that trainer Michael Bell and owner Sheikh Fahad are among those that have voiced complaints, saying that the training session gave Ward horses an “unfair advantage,” since local trainers aren’t allowed to train there.
David Redvers, Sheikh Fahad’s racing manager, told the Post, “Sheikh Fahad agrees with the view of Michael Bell and believes it should be a level playing field. If Ascot allows Wes Ward to gallop his horses at Ascot, they should allow everybody.”
“Ward has his horses stabled at Newmarket – where the best gallops in the world are situated – it’s not like he’s without top class facilities. I don’t understand why Ward can gallop at Ascot when no-one else can.”
He added: “I think Sheikh Fahad and Michael Bell make a fair and valid point – it’s not like Wesley Ward has never been to Ascot before. We travel all around the world with our horses and we never have an unfair advantage like this. In fact, in some jurisdictions they make it trickier for us.”
Ascot only allows runners from outside Europe to work over the course. Previously, both Animal Kingdom and California Chrome galloped at Ascot prior to the Royal Ascot meet.
Ascot officials said Ward “was enjoying the same privileges as those extended to British trainers when they compete overseas.”
Read more in the Racing Post
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