No Nay Never finished for the Season

Ward secured his third winner at the summer showpiece meeting in June as No Nay Never broke the two-year-old track record with a brilliant display in the Norfolk Stakes.

The juvenile then returned to Europe and carried the Coolmore colours for the first time to clinch Group One honours in the Prix Morny at Deauville earlier this month.

With next summer’s St James’s Palace Stakes top of the colt’s agenda, Ward feels his stable star would benefit from a break before being brought back into training later in the year in preparation for a three-year-old campaign.

Ward said: “He is in beautiful shape and came back from Deauville looking absolutely fantastic.

“I’ve spoken with Mr (John) Magnier, Mr (Michael) Tabor, Mr (Derrick) Smith, Paul Shanahan and all the other wonderful partners involved with the horse to see what we should do from here.

“He has done quite a bit already this year and I would hate to push the envelope with him.

“I think we are going to give him a couple of months in the field here in Ashford in Lexington. I can’t think of a more beautiful and tranquil place for the horse have some down-time and get some long grass.

“At the moment we are thinking of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next year and working backwards from there.

“That might seem a long way off, but, in the great scheme of things, next year actually isn’t all that far away and I have had success previously when you have a target in your mind.”

Although No Nay Never has yet to encounter a distance beyond six furlongs in his three starts to date, Ward has no doubt the mile of the St James’s Palace Stakes will not be a problem.

He said: “In all three of his races he has kept running. He hasn’t been holding on at the end and I think a mile is 100% within his reach.

“The St James’s Palace is a very prestigious and important race in Europe, it’s an important stallions’ race and I think that is an attainable target for him.

“If we give him a little breather now, give him a physical break and some time to get himself together, I hope he can go and show how good he can be as a three-year-old, just as he has dominated at two.

“We could pick him up in the middle of November, right after the Breeders’ Cup, and then start building him up again.”

No Nay Never is likely to be first campaigned in America before crossing the Atlantic for Royal Ascot.

“The first race I have in mind for him is the Transylvania Stakes, which is usually run on the first Friday in April on the awesome grass course at Keeneland,” said Ward.

“It is a Grade Three race over a mile and sixteenth on the turf and it would be a good place to start him as he would not be meeting the best three-year-old milers.

“Hopefully then he could run in the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes, which is run on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs (early May).

“That would be a stiffer test than his first run of the year at Keeneland and would give us five or six weeks then to get him to Royal Ascot. We will see how things progress and I will talk to the Coolmore boys, but that is the plan I am looking at.

“I couldn’t be happier with him and he is an amazingly sound horse considering all the travelling he has done. We are just so privileged and blessed to have a colt like him.”

From Sporting Life 

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February 2018
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