Astonishing Lady Aurelia demolishes Queen Mary field
Wednesday 15 June 2016
Watch the Queen Mary Stakes won in astonishing style by Lady Aurelia at Royal Ascot on Wednesday and Oli Bell's interview with Frankie Dettori and Paul Leidel.
1 Lady Aurelia (L Dettori) 2-1F
2 Al Johrah (G Benoist) 9-2
3 Clem Fandango (P Makin) 16-1
By Paul Wheeler
Wesley Ward would definitely be a man who sees the glass as half full.
Since he sent over Strike The Tiger to blitz home in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot seven years ago, however, the American trainer has proven as good as his ebullient words.
Ward had described Lady Aurelia as a “flying machine” and there was good reason to be filling the glass once more after she won the Queen Mary Stakes by seven lengths.
Frankie Dettori, the winning jockey, had the million-megawatt smile on full beam and he told Racing UK: “To win a sprint race by seven lengths, over five furlongs, at Royal Ascot is unheard of. She’s a rocket – she relaxed, quickened. Wow, Wesley Ward is a genius.”
Lady Aurelia had broken the track record when winning a maiden over four and a half furlongs by seven and a half lengths on the dirt at Keeneland in April and Frankie Dettori was not hanging about as the filly exploded from stall 14.
Dettori manoeuvred Lady Aurelia to the centre of the course but, unlike his ride on Galileo Gold in the St James’s Palace Stakes, there was no need for any tactical genius beyond being able to steer to the winning post.
At halfway Barroche and Kachess were just about close enough to make a race of it but not within a mile – or at least five furlongs – good enough and, when Dettori asked Lady Aurelia to pick up inside the penultimate furlong the response was simply stunning.
Dettori spent most of the last hundred yards saluting the crowd and on faster ground Lady Aurelia might have left the clerk of the course checking the turf for scorch marks, while Al Shaqab, the owners of runner-up Al Johrah were left rueing their luck with juvenile runners after Mehmas had finished second to Caravaggio in the Coventry Stakes on the opening day of the meeting.
Ward, who also won this race with both Jealous Again (2009) and Acapulco (2015), said: "She’s an amazing filly. I kept professing about her and you need it to come true so thank God she lived up to it. She is a special, is very sound and should have a big future. We're very excited about her.
"The ground was a little bit of a question mark for me but her greatness came out today. I thought she could overcome the ground and she did. Frankie gave her a beautiful ride so we are all smiles. Frankie is a lovely guy and an extremely talented guy.
"I'm fortunate for all the success I have had. I'm getting a bigger pool of two-year-olds to choose from and I am able to narrow it down to the better ones I have to have the opportunity to come here. Fortunately, the cream rises to the top by the time I come here so I am able to bring a better quality horse over here and this filly is just tremendous.
"There’s nothing like Royal Ascot. I have been fortunate to win a couple of Breeders' Cup races but to win here stands above everything."
Ward also suggested the filly's immediate future could be to stay racing in Europe. "We’ll probably keep her based over here, I need to talk to the owners. It all depends on where her next start will be but that hopefully will be the Molecomb [Stakes at Goodwood] and then onto the Prix Morny, I just need to see if the owners agree. We probably won't go to the Nunthorpe [where Acapulco finished second last year] with this filly. I'd like to space her races out. There is nothing in the United States on the grass for a filly like her at the moment."
And, in this form, nothing in Europe on grass who could beat her.
Not yet a Racing UK member? You can enjoy EVERY race from Royal Ascot live and in HD with the best analysis in the business with our FREE TRIAL!