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Next stop Royal Ascot for flying filly Lady Aurelia

15 Apr 2017

American-trained speedster makes impressive winning return at Keeneland

Lady Aurelia and Frankie Dettori combined for a runaway win in the Queen Mary Stakes last year. Picture: Racingfotos.com

American filly Lady Aurelia confirmed she could be one of the stars of the sprint category QIPCO British Champions Series this summer with an emphatic comeback win in Keeneland on Saturday night.

The Wesley Ward-trained filly, superb seven-length winner of the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot last year,
is set to return to the royal meeting after gaining a smooth success in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway Stakes over five and a half furlongs on her return.

This year her options at the royal meeting will be the King’s Stand Stakes, over five furlongs against older opposition, or the Commonwealth Cup, over a furlong further against her own age group.

“This sets her up perfect [to return to Royal Ascot],” Ward said. “She’s a wonderful filly and has a big future. I’m excited to get back over to England to Ascot. She’ll train right here at Keeneland until we go.

“Lot of credit goes out to (jockey) Julio Garcia, who gets on her and works her every day. Instead of shooting to the front, he gets her to relax. He sits back with her and every time she works, she gets more and more relaxed. I think that’s going to be a big key to where we want to go.”

Jockey John Velazquez was also delighted with Lady Aurelia.

“She relaxed really well,” he said. “At the quarter pole, I gave her a little kiss and she was in the battle right away. It was instant.

“She relaxed really well behind horses, and at the quarter pole, when I asked her, she responded right away.”