Friday 24 November 2017

No Nay Never smashes track record at Royal Ascot

No Nay Never ridden by jockey Joel Rosario wins the Norfolk Stakes
No Nay Never ridden by jockey Joel Rosario wins the Norfolk Stakes

Keith Hamer

No Nay Never propelled American trainer Wesley Ward back into the Royal Ascot winner's enclosure with a fine performance in the Norfolk Stakes.

Ward had a double at the meeting in 2009 and has sent several horses over since then without any luck.

He seemed confident beforehand, however, and stated this was his best chance of the week - but not much went to plan early in the race.

No Nay Never (4-1) did not break as well as jockey Joel Rosario wanted, but after two furlongs he had hit the front.

Headed just after halfway by Mick Channon's Ambiance, Rosario, who won the Dubai World Cup on Animal Kingdom, did not panic and let his mount have a breather.

When the favourite Coach House threw down his challenge No Nay Never pulled out more and won going away from the Aidan O'Brien runner and Wind Fire, with the winner smashing the track record for two-year-olds.

Rosario said: "It feels good. I'm happy to be here and to have a chance to win this race. It's awesome.

"He stayed in the gate, but he pulled it back and took me to the lead. He's a good horse.

"I have to say thank you to him (Wesley Ward) because he always gives me the opportunities in the US and to come here and win for him is even better."

Ward said: "He sits in the gate and gets relaxed. He broke slowly on his first start and he broke slowly again today, but he came through for us.

"He's like a bulldog, the way he pushes his way through. I've always thought he was the most talented horse I've trained and he has proved so today.

"The plan is to take him back home, he'll be home on Saturday, and I've spoken to some people here and we'd like to then take him back to Deauville for the Prix Morny (August 18)."

Ward added: "Our staff at home work very hard and we put a lot of time and effort into it.

"We start breaking them (two-year-olds) in October or November and they are trained down in Florida on a farm, before going to another beautiful place called Palm Meadows to continue their education there.

"Then we go to Keeneland and everyone there has been so gracious.

"I'm not used to dressing this way at home and I don't even wear suits very often, but as long as we keep getting in the winner's circle like this it's fine.

After being informed his charge had broken the two-year-old track record, the trainer said: "That's what we expected!

O'Brien said of Coach House: "He ran a good race. We'll have to see where we go next but he ran well."

David Brown, trainer of third-placed Wind Fire, said: "I knew she was a proper horse. I think she would have won the Queen Mary.

"The Lowther and Cheveley Park will be among the races we will look at for her."

Press Association

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