Ward’s Lady wows Royal Ascot
American challenger Lady Aurelia was a stunning winner of the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Wesley Ward's filly produced a jaw-dropping performance to win the Queen Mary Stakes at last year's meeting and was a 7-2 shot to beat her male counterparts and elders on her return to the track.
With John Velazquez taking over in the saddle from the injured Frankie Dettori, Lady Aurelia did not make as fast a start as 12 months ago, but soon made up the ground and tacked across from her high draw to take over the lead from Take Cover.
Last year's winner Profitable came home well, but Lady Aurelia extended her advantage in the final 100 yards and passed the post three lengths in front. Marsha, the 11-4 favourite, was third.
Velezquez said: "It's unfortunate for Frankie and a bad situation for him, but she was spectacular.
"I gave her a little break in the first half of the race and then when I asked her to run she responded, that doesn't always happen.
"Wes does a great job and he has a great team."
Ward, celebrating his eighth winner at the meeting said: "She's a very special filly.
"This is a Group One against the fastest sprinters in the world and to duplicate what she did last year and come back and do it again – she's a once in a lifetime horse.
"She's amazing and she loves it over here.
"We can look forward to a really big summer, the Breeders' Cup – her owners are so excited, it's wonderful for American racing."