Acapulco goes loco for Ward

Acapulco's win in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes (1000m) on Wednesday was a fifth Royal Ascot success for American trainer Wesley Ward, who has brought his biggest team to date to the meeting this year.

Acapulco wins the Queen Mary Stakes, picture Liesl King 

Ward was training the Scat Daddy filly for the Coolmore syndicate.


He said: "Acapulco is a sweetheart, what a lovely filly. She has immense talent and immense speed and really proved it today.


"It is a huge relief to get a winner. You don't want to come in here and go home with your head held low, so to get a winner early on is amazing.


"Royal Ascot is such an international event that more American trainers will come over, especially the bigger-name trainers who have a lot of the better pedigrees and fast horses that could come over and enjoy such a wonderful meeting.


"If you notice, there are a few newcomers to the meet [this year] and once they come and experience what such a magnificent event it is and get home and spread the word, you'll see more and more people come over here with a lot of the better horses. The time of the year Ascot is works unbelievably with the Breeders' Cup so we are able to bring the better horses here, even older horses, different distances, and hopefully get lucky.

Wesley Ward gives his star filly a kiss, picture Liesl King

"I'm so blessed to have the success that I have had here and to have owners such as Coolmore, and everyone at home that has helped me get the horses to this point. With this particular filly, Keeneland went out of their way to let a two-year-old filly run on grass, which they are really reluctant to do, especially having the Breeders' Cup there this year. It really opened my eyes, and I want to thank them for letting me see what I had, and then could come over here and get lucky in a race like this.


"I was very disappointed after her first run [she finished third] and I did something very unconventional and breezed her right back in seven days time and it was the most phenomenal breeze I've ever had.


"I think she's got a big future on turf, she's a beautiful, gorgeous filly and to look at her you'd think she was four."


Acapulco was ridden by Ryan Moore, who said: "She is a big tough filly who has bags of speed and keeps on finding. Her attitude is fantastic and she will keep on improving. Wesley [Ward] said she is like a four-year-old and she rides like one. 

Ryan Moore gives Acapulco a pat, picture Liesl King

"She has a great attitude and loads of pace. I wasn't even that quickly away, but she cruised up and had far too many gears for them."


Easton Angel bumped into "an aeroplane" when finishing second to American challenger Acapulco.


The Michael Dods-trained Easton Angel, the winner of her two previous races, put up a top performance despite finishing  one and a half lengths adrift of the winner, and she was two and a half lengths ahead of third-placed Besharah in the 20-runner race. She ran in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing, which owns her in partnership with her former sole owner, Ritchie Fiddes.


Dods said: "We don't like finishing second, but it was a great performance and she ran her heart out. Paul [Mulrennan] said that if he had been drawn on this side, instead of in stall one, it would have helped. We were very isolated, and, to be fair, this was the first proper race she's had. She's been beaten by a serious racehorse, and Ryan Moore [who rode the winner] said to Paul, 'You've been beaten by an aeroplane'.


"She [Easton Angel] is so laid back you wouldn't think she's had a race. There are some big races in her and we're delighted with her and to have Al Shaqab on board, too. Paul said she will get six furlongs easily, but we'll sit down now and talk to Ritchie and Harry [Herbert, racing manager to Al Shaqab] and make a plan from there."


Dods decided not to run his star sprinter Mecca's Angel in the King's Stand Stakes yesterday because she prefers soft ground. He said there was a chance that mare, and Easton Angel, could meet in August's Nunthorpe Stakes at York.


He said of Mecca's Angel: "She's in the Sapphire Stakes in Ireland and the Nunthorpe plus the Abbaye. It was a very tough decision to make yesterday, but I'm sure it was the right one. We've still got a racehorse and she will win a Group One.


"Ritchie has mentioned the idea of running Easton Angel in the Nunthorpe, but now Al Shaqab are involved we have to discuss plans with them. This is the only horse I train with Al Shaqab connection, and I suppose there was a bit of pressure going into the race, but as a trainer you have to take pressure. Once the saddle is on the horse my job is done."


William Haggas, who trains Besharah, said: "She was beaten by a good one today. My jockey [Pat Cosgrave] said he couldn't get a run when he wanted one, but I think he was beaten fair and square. She ran a commendable race, and I think she might get six furlongs. She's quick enough for five but we'll regroup and have a think. She's Stakes-placed and now we want to make her a Stakes winner."


Jockeys who rode in the first race of day two of the Royal Meeting thought the ground was quick.


Jim Crowley, partner of the half-length winner Dutch Connection, said: "It is lighting quick fast ground out there."


Paul Hanagan, partner of second-placed Fadhayyil, said: "the ground was very firm."


Charles Bishop, aboard third-placed Bossy Guest, said: "The ground was really quick."


Pat Dobbs, jockey of Tupi (4th), thought the ground was: "That was very quick. The ground is firm."


James Doyle, partner of Toscanini (5th), said: "It was very quick. The ground is firm."


Ryan Moore, on Sir Isaac Newton (6th), believed it was: "very firm ground out there."


Martin Harley, on Fanciful Angel (7th), believed the ground was: "Firm."


Silvestre de Sousa, rider of Mister Universe (8th), remarked that the ground was: "Firm."


Joseph O'Brien, partner of Father Frost (9th) remarked: "It is lovely ground."


Frankie Dettori, jockey of Hathal (10th), described the ground as: "Really quick firm ground."


Jamie Spencer, rider of Volatile (12th), said: "Quick ground."


Andrea Atzeni, rider of Aces (13th), remarked that the ground was: "Very quick."


William Buick, riding Devonshire (15th), believed it was: "Firm."


Pat Cosgrave, rider of Harry Hurricane (16th), said: "Very fast firm ground."


£100,000, Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes (1000m) 2yo fillies, 1st £56,710.00 2nd £21,500.00 3rd £10,760.00 4th £5,360.00 5th £2,690.00 6th £1,350.00       


1) ACAPULCO (USA) (Gay Smith, Doreen Tabor & Sue Magnier) Wesley Ward USA tb2-9-00 Ryan Moore [20] 5/2f

2) EASTON ANGEL (IRE) (Al Shaqab Racing & Ritchie Fiddes) Michael Dods 2-9-00 Paul Mulrennan [1] 13/2

3) BESHARAH (IRE) (Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum) William Haggas 2-9-00 Pat Cosgrave [3] 6/1

4) KURLAND (IRE) (Ladyswood Stud) Martyn Meade 2-9-00 Fergus Sweeney [16] 14/1

5) KASSIA (IRE) (Jon & Julia Aisbitt) Mick Channon 2-9-0 Martin Harley [22]

6) LITTLE VOICE (USA) (Mr & Mrs T O'Donohoe) Charlie Hills 2-9-00 Jamie Spencer [6]

7) RING OF TRUTH (The Queen) Richard Hannon 2-9-00 Richard Hughes [11]

8) DELIZIA (IRE) (Lowther Racing) Mark Johnston 2-9-00 Silvestre de Sousa [8]

9) REBEL SURGE (IRE) (Rebel Racing III) Dave Morris 2-9-00 Luke Morris [14]

10) RAH RAH (Godolphin) Mark Johnston 2-9-00 William Buick [21]

11) ABBERLEY DANCER (IRE) (S & A Mares, Ed Tidmarsh & Stan Moore) Stan Moore 2-9-00 John Fahy [12]

12) BRUISED ORANGE (USA) (Hat Creek Racing) Wesley Ward USA b2-9-00 Frankie Dettori [10]

13) NEW ROAD SIDE (Morecool Racing & Partner) Tony Coyle 2-9-00 Barry McHugh [4]

14) SILK BOW (The Cool Silk Partnership) James Given 2-9-00 Tom Eaves [2]

15) PITY CASH (IRE) (Wayne Clifford) David Evans 2-9-00 John Egan [5]

16) CRY ME A RIVER (IRE) (Linda Shanahan & Sue Magnier) Tommy Stack IRE 2-9-00 Wayne Lordan [15]

17) SECRET TALE (IRE) (Mohammed Kazim Al Ansari) Jamie Osborne 2-9-00 Adam Kirby [23]

18) JUST EMMA (A Byrne) Joseph Tuite 2-9-00 Oisin Murphy [19]

19) ROSEALEE (IRE) (The Sutton Veny Syndicate) Jeremy Gask 2-9-00 Freddie Tylicki [13]

20) SHADEN (IRE) (Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar) Lady Cecil 2-9-00 Hayley Turner [9]


20 ran

Non-runners: Caledonian Gold (self cert - not eaten up), Cobana Sand (self cert - cast in box), Dark Side Princess (WD)

Time: 1m 0.03s

Distances: 1½, 2½, 2½, 2, ¾, ½, 1, nk, sh, 1½, 1¼, ½, 3, 1¼, ¾, 2¼, ½, 12, 5

Breeder: Dr Charles Giles          

Breeding: ch f Scat Daddy (USA) - Global Finance (USA) (End Sweep (USA))

Tote      Win £3.90          Place £1.90 £2.30 £2.60 Exacta £22.70