No Nay Never to return to Ascot
Last Updated: 28/01/14 2:54pm
No Nay Never: Set to return to Ascot
No Nay Never will have his prep run for the St James's Palace Stakes in the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 1.
Trainer Wesley Ward admits the race does come slightly earlier than he would have ideally wanted, but the Grade Three contest on dirt gives the leading juvenile the opportunity to prove his versatility.
The Prix Morny and Norfolk Stakes winner has Royal Ascot as his major aim again this season, rather than the 2000 Guineas, and Ward could not be happier with the way his stable star is progressing.
"Everything has just been going fantastic with him," said Ward. "He's been extremely well. I gave him an early breeze in Kentucky in December before I brought him to Miami and he just floated over the ground.
"When he got to Miami I galloped him with a decent colt, who would have been much fitter, and he absolutely destroyed him. Alex Solis was on him and he was pulling his arms out the whole way.
"After the gallop he was coming along too quickly so I just had to back off him a bit, I didn't want him peaking just yet.
"I think he's going to start off in the Swale Stakes on March 1 over seven furlongs at Gulfstream.
"It's an historical race, it tends to attract the better three-year-olds, and if he can win on dirt as well as turf well then he becomes a very attractive stallion prospect. It would be a real feather in his cap.
"The race comes earlier than I'd like, but after it I'd have two months to prepare him before he goes to Ascot. Based on how quick he has come to hand I think it should be fine.
"Hopefully we'll have a nice summer and he'll be a fresh colt and we will at least have one run into him. After Ascot we'll need to sit down and discuss the rest of his season.
"I've never been worried about him staying a mile. I think it will prove spot-on. At Ascot he was very relaxed before the race but in France he was just getting a bit excited and was keen the whole way. That's why we left off him and he didn't run again, I wanted him to completely relax.
"I'm not sure who'll be riding him, I work closely with a lot of jockeys in the morning and we've used John Velazquez in the past, Joel Rosario last year and David Flores rode him in France but he (Flores) is in Singapore now.
"I'm one of only a few American trainers who compete in Europe but I love it. I love the passion and the fans and to win over there is special, it's a great thrill."