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No Nay Never Still Looking at Royal Ascot

No Nay Never 615 X 400

No Nay Never has emerged in good order from his runner-up effort in the $200,000 Swale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park last Saturday. Perfect in three trans-Atlantic starts last year, the dark bay colt attended the fast early fractions, but could not withstand Spot's late surge in the final furlong. The Swale was No Nay Never's first start since annexing the Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville in August, and trainer Wesley Ward was philosophical about the colt's first defeat as the heavy favorite.            

"There's so many different variables you can go over after the race," Ward offered. "If you had it to do over again, you could do this, that, this and that. Looking at it afterwards, maybe I had him a little short. I did back off of him a few weeks ago because he was so forward. The pace was fast, 44 and change, and he hadn't run in awhile. The winner sat back there and it set up. But the end result is the same, and the fortunate thing is that the horse came out of it in wonderful shape."            

Owned by Ice Wine Stable, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the son of Scat Daddy captured his career debut at Keeneland last April before embarking on an ambitious campaign. The dark bay colt won the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot in June prior to his Morny triumph, and he is scheduled to mount another challenge on the famed Royal meeting. One target mentioned was the Jersey Stakes (G3), a seven-furlong contest for 3-year-olds on June 18 at Ascot, and Ward was unsure whether his stable star would face the starter prior to that.            

"We put him on a plane yesterday for Keeneland and we've got big things hoping for him this summer," Ward said. "After Royal Ascot, there are some big races and there's nothing imminent for him right now on the horizon."            

No Nay Never's Norfolk win marked Ward's fourth success overall at Royal Ascot. In 2009, the conditioner won the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) with Jealous Again and the Windsor Castle Stakes with Strike the Tiger, and also saddled Cannonball to finish second in the Golden Jubilee Stakes (G1) and sixth in the King's Stand Stakes (G1) during the same week.

 

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