No Nay Never Blitzes Norfolk Stakes
1 No Nay Never 4/1
US sprinter No Nay Never put up a stunning performance at Royal Ascot today when breaking the five-furlong track record by a two-year-old in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes.
The Wesley Ward-trained son of US sire Scat Daddy recorded a time of 58.80, bettering the previous best 59.17, despite a tardy start. Ridden by Joel Rosario, he was soon up with the pace and eventually ran out a length winner from 9/4 favourite Coach House, who was a head in front of Wind Fire.
Asked about his colt’s slow start, Ward said: “He’s like a bull and I knew he would push his way through, and while it was a little bit of a concern we’ll take him home and work on that. He’ll be better at the gate next time.
“I’ve always felt he’s the most talented horse I’ve trained and he proved so today. He’ll wait for other horses in a race, but I don’t teach my horses to run away from the rest and he was waiting for the others to come.
“We put in a lot of time and effort. My staff at home work very hard from day one, when we start breaking them in October and November – they never miss a day. They are trained on a farm in Florida and then they go to another beautiful place called Palm Meadows, where they continue their education.
“Then they go on to Keeneland and everybody there has been so gracious. After their meet is over, they keep the turf pristine and they did a huge favour by letting us breeze on the grass. I want to thank them very much.
“I’ve spoken to the owners and what I’d like to do is get him home to Keeneland on Saturday, give him a break then bring him back for the Prix Morny at Deauville [in August]. I like to keep them under my own thumb at home and it’s been proven that horses can come over here and win. It’s a beautiful environment at Keeneland where we train and it’s a very easy flight from Chicago to Paris so I don’t think that will be a problem.”
Asked about the lack of US runners at the Royal meeting, Ward said: “I’d like some of my buddies and colleagues to come over here and just see 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.”
Ward has been visiting the Royal meeting for several years and this was his third success. Of the experience he said: “I’m not used to dressing this way and I don’t even wear a suit at home, but I’ll come as I’m supposed to come if I keep getting into the winner’s enclosure.”
Rosario said: “I am happy to be here and to have a chance to win a race – it’s awesome. I thought that he was going to break a little quicker but he really stayed in the gate. He pulled it altogether right back and he has just taken me to the lead. He is a good horse.
“I tried to stay with him – I didn’t want to rush him out – and he just put me where ever he wanted.
“I have to say thank you to Mr Ward because he has given me a lot of opportunities in the US and it’s even better to come here with a horse of his.”
Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)
WIND FIRE ‘PROPER’
American raider No Nay Never broke the Ascot two-year-old track record for five furlongs with 58.80s when beating 9/4 favourite Coach House, trained by Aidan O’Brien, a length, with the David Brown-trained filly Wind Fire, a 16/1 chance, a head away in third.
While O’Brien restricted his comments to “Coach House ran well”, Brown was more forthcoming despite having to rush off to saddle a runner in the next race.
He said: “I knew she was proper. She would have won the Queen Mary (run yesterday and restricted to fillies).
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