ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, England — Breeze Easy LLC's Shang Shang Shang, the only filly in the field, beat nine colts by the narrowest of noses in the Norfolk Stakes on Day 3 of Great Britain's Royal Ascot meeting on June 21. The filly, who is trained by Wesley Ward, earned a stall in the starting gate for the newly minted Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Friday, Nov. 2.
The Norfolk is one of 82 stakes contested around the world in which the winners earn automatic starting positions and fees paid in a corresponding race at the Breeders' Cup. Shang Shang Shang, a daughter of Shanghai Bobby who was bred in Kentucky by Kris Del Giudice, is eligible for the Juvenile Turf Sprint, a 5-1/2-furlong race open to 2-year-old colts and fillies, that is being offered for the first time at the 2018 Breeders' Cup.
Shang Shang Shang is the 10th Royal Ascot winner for Ward, a mid-west backed trainer who concentrates every spring on getting runners ready to race at the Ascot meeting that is run under the patronage of Her Majesty, The Queen. In the words of one ITV-NBCSN commentator, “Ward has won ten races at Royal Ascot. Most British trainers would bite off their right arm for just one.”
Shang Shang Shang went into the Norfolk following a maiden win at Keeneland on April 26. Sent away at 5 to 1 on the boards of the British bookies from the Number 10 post, she was steered to the middle of the straight course by American rider Joel Rosario.
She was a clear leader a furlong out and then stayed on to beat 20 to 1 shot Pocket Dynamo by a nose at the wire.
Ward gave a lot of the credit to the ride Rosario put in astride Shang Shang Shang. “I have got to tell you something about this jockey. He is fabulous. He has put the time and effort in, which is why he's here. He has won Derbies (and) World Cups. Yet, he was in every day breezing my 2-year-olds all winter long.”
A day earlier, the Irish-bred Poet's Word made the lead a furlong out and went on to upset the odds-on Cracksman in the 1-1/4-mile Prince of Wales Stakes. That win earned the 5-year-old a start in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Classic on Day 2 of the Breeders' Cup.
The win by Poet's Word was the 76th for trainer Sir Michael Stoute breaking the record previously held by the late Sir Henry Cecil. Reflecting on setting a new record, Stoute graciously said, “Henry's record was formidable because he accumulated those numbers when there were four days of Royal Ascot for most of his career and the five-day meeting hasn't been implemented that long.”
Poet's Word and jockey James Doyle sat off the pace setters and shadowed Cracksman through most of the Prince of Wales. When Cracksman made his move a furlong out, Doyle stayed with him and then went under the wire a 2-1/4-length winner.
They ran the classic distance of 10 furlongs in 2:03.51 over an Ascot course listed as good to firm.
The win for Doyle was his ninth at Royal Ascot.
See more Equestrian news at www.TAPintoHorses.net
Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoHorses/
Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox.