Ward Happy with his Fool
Wesley Ward is confident Happy Like A Fool can provide him with a fourth victory in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
It is eight years since the American handler first claimed this prize with Jealous Again and he has added to his tally in the last two years with Acapulco and the hugely impressive Lady Aurelia.
Happy Like A Fool has been pencilled in for a trip to Berkshire ever since her dominant debut at Keeneland in early April and with Ryan Moore booked for the ride, she is widely regarded as one of the bankers of the week in Berkshire.
Ward said: "She is great – doing super. She had a big work last week with Jamie Spencer and came out of that great. It is exciting.
"She's the most talented of all the two-year-olds I've brought this year.
"She's got a beautiful mind, is extremely talented and is a big filly too. If they are big and fast they are usually really good."
Happy Like A Fool is the star attraction in a 24-strong field, with Clive Cox's Heartache and the Robert Cowell-trained Chica La Habana also among six fillies who have won their only previous start.
The leading Irish contender is Treasuring, who stepped up from a promising Dundalk debut to win impressively at Navan earlier this month.
"Her time figures are good from the win in Navan, but she shows absolutely zero at home," trainer Ger Lyons told At The Races.
The opening race on day two of the Royal meeting is the Jersey Stakes, for which Andre Fabre's French challenger Le Brivido and the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Dream Castle dispute favouritism.
Dream Castle destroyed his rivals on his Doncaster debut in April before finding only Barney Roy too strong in the Greenham Stakes Newbury.
The Godolphin colt ran a fine race for one so inexperienced when fifth in the 2000 Guineas and drops in distance and grade for his latest assignment.
Last season's champion apprentice Josephine Gordon comes in for the ride.
"Dream Castle is a nice horse, who ran well to finish fifth in the 2000 Guineas," Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.
"He has been working nicely and Josephine Gordon has been riding very well for our stable.
"The return to seven furlongs will suit and I am looking forward to another good run."
Godolphin are also represented by Bin Suroor's Top Score and Parfait from John Gosden's yard.
Gosden also saddles 1000 Guineas third Daban, who will be ridden by Andrea Atzeni in the absence of Frankie Dettori.
Winning Ways steps up in class after winning a handicap at the track in fine style last month.
Trainer Jeremy Noseda said: "It's a big step up in class but as long as he handles the ground well, I'm pretty sure he'll run well.
"We're not just there for the outing."
Noseda also has a leading hope for the Royal Hunt Cup in the form of Abe Lincoln.
The Shalfleet handler is no stranger to winning fiercely-competitive handicaps at the showpiece meeting having claimed this prize with Forgotten Voice in 2009 and memorably landed a gamble with the long-absent Laddies Poker Two in the 2010 Wokingham Stakes.
Abe Lincoln himself has been off the track since being beaten only a short-head in the Britannia Stakes here 12 months ago.
"He's in great order and he's been trained for the race. I wouldn't put anyone off, but he's no Laddies Poker Two or Forgotten Voice," warned Noseda.
"He's come back after having a setback last year. I'm delighted with his work, but until I get him on the racecourse I will not know for sure he's back totally where I want him to be.
"His form's on the board. There's no reason for him not be highly regarded."
Other contenders for the Royal Hunt Cup include the William Haggas-trained Fastnet Tempest and Luca Cumani's pair of Banksea and El Vip.
Cheveley Park Stud has a strong hand in the concluding Sandringham Handicap, with Gosden's Gymnaste and Haggas' On Her Toes the top two in the betting.
Godolphin is represented by Bean Feasa (Jim Bolger), Grecian Light (Charlie Appleby) and Really Special (Bin Suroor).
Bolger said: "I have been very pleased with Bean Feasa since she ran at the Curragh and I am hoping for a good performance."
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