Kentucky connection at Royal Ascot

No Nay Never (USA) gave the home defence short shrift with a stunning victory in the G2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

A Keeneland maiden winner at his only other start on April 26, the Wesley Ward trained raider broke the juvenile track record for 1000m when stopping the clock at 58.80s.

No Nay Never (2c Scat Daddy – Cat’s Eye Witness by Elusive Quality) made up ground after a slow getaway and then took over inside the final furlong for a one length win.  “He’s like a bull and I knew he would push his way through the field,” Ward said.  “We will take him home and he will be better at the gate next time.”

The winner is raced by Ice Wine Stable and Linda Shanahan, wife of Coolmore Stud advisor Paul Shanahan.  His sire Scat Daddy stands at Coolmore’s Kentucky base at Ashford Farm and he was Champion USA first-season sire in 2012.

“I’ve always felt he’s the most talented horse I’ve trained,” Ward claimed.  “I will get him home to Keeneland and bring him back for the Prix Morny at Deauville in August.”

Ward has been a trail-blazer for North American trainers at Royal Ascot in recent years.  In 2009, he won the LR Windsor Castle Stakes with Strike the Tiger (Tiger Ridge) and the G2 Queen Mary Stakes with Jealous Again (Trippi).

“I would like some of my buddies to come over here because they have no idea what this is all about.  A lot of trainers are fearful to come over because it’s a long way home if you get beat.

“I’m not used to dressing this way and I don’t even wear a suit at home,” he grinned.  “But I’ll come as I’m supposed to come if I keep getting into the winner’s enclosure.”

Claiborne Farm sire War Front (Danzig) gave the Kentucky connection a kick-start on opening day at Royal Ascot.  He opened Tuesday’s card with G1 Queen Anne Stakes winner Declaration of War and doubled up in the G2 Coventry Stakes with War Command.