Yes indeed for No Nay Never at Ascot

American raider wins the first race on Ladies Day

No Nay Never ridden by jockey Joel Rosario wins the Norfolk Stakes during day three of the Royal Ascot meeting. Photograph:  Steve Parsons/PA Wire

No Nay Never ridden by jockey Joel Rosario wins the Norfolk Stakes during day three of the Royal Ascot meeting. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire


American raider No Nay Never smashed the five-furlong record for juveniles with a stunning performance in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Trained by Wesley Ward, who last tasted success at the meeting when saddling a double with Strike The Tiger and Jealous Again in 2009, the two-year-old was having just his second start but towered above his rivals in the parade ring.

He was ridden by Joel Rosario, who won the Dubai World Cup in March on Animal Kingdom.

Unusually for an American horse he missed the break but after two furlongs he was in front. Rosario was then content to take a pull and was headed, but he found another lease of life and powered clear to win by a length, breaking the track record in the process.

All the talk pre-race was about the Aidan O’Brien-trained Coach House and he was sent off the 9-4 favourite but had no answer to the winner in second.

“I’ve always felt he’s the most talented horse I’ve trained and he proved so today. He’ll wait for other horses in a race, but I don’t teach my horses to run away from the rest and he was waiting for the others to come,” said Ward. “I’ve spoken to the owners and what I’d like to do is get him home to Keeneland on Saturday, give him a break then bring him back for the Prix Morny at Deauville (August 18th).

“I like to keep them under my own thumb at home and it’s been proven that horses can come over here and win. It’s a beautiful environment at Keeneland where we train and it’s a very easy flight from Chicago to Paris so I don’t think that will be a problem.”

John Gosden’s Remote (9-4 favourite) looks a colt out of the top drawer after his stylish display in the Tercentenary Stakes. Set plenty to do by William Buick, he quickened up impressively to collar 2000 Guineas third Van Der Neer deep inside the final furlong before holding off the French raider Shikarpour by three-quarters of a length.

“We’ve hit the crossbar a few times this week and to come and have a lovely winner like this horse is great,” said Gosden. “He’s won a Group Three, he could go for a Group Two or Group One. I think this is his best trip (10 furlongs).”

The huge team of Irish raiders are on course to break their record of eight winners for the week and Joanna Morgan’s Roca Tumu made it seven for the week in the Britannia Stakes. Richard Hannon’s Wentworth was sent off the very skinny 7-2 favourite in the huge field but could only manage fourth after making late headway.

The under-rated Billy Lee always had his mount close to the pace and the inexperienced colt won on just his fifth start from one who had run even less, Godolphin’s Tarikhi.

Morgan, saddling her first Royal Ascot winner, said: “I think I was the first girl to ride at Royal Ascot in 1978. That was a long time ago.

“I’m a fan of this meeting. I’d come every year, even if I don’t have any runners. I’ve always known he was a talented horse and knew he had the ability. He was a bit fractious before the race which is not like him because he is usually so laid back, but Billy is such a cool dude and gave him a great ride.”

Martin Harley was another to break his duck in the King George V Stakes on Mick Channon’s Elidor. Still a maiden after six previous outings he had nevertheless finished second in the Lingfield Derby Trial on his most recent outing.

Channon said: “He had the form if you look at it and we’ve waited a long time since the Lingfield Derby Trial to come here. The horse that beat him at Pontefract (Libertarian) won the Dante and was second in the Derby. We thought he might have gone up retrospectively for that but luckily the handicapper did us justice. He was also unlucky at Doncaster behind Mad Moose and he went on to run a decent race in the Ormonde. This horse is a stayer. He wants two miles now. We will see what the handicapper does and take it from there. He’s a nice horse.”