Nunthorpe favourite Golden Pal 'could be the best' Wesley Ward has trained – with Frankie Dettori set to ride at York

TOP US trainer Wesley Ward can't wait to team up with his good Pal Frankie Dettori at York this week.

The Italian is set to ride Ward's newest speed machine Golden Pal in the Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday.


The exciting colt is 9-4 favourite with Paddy Power, just ahead of flying French filly Suesa (5-2) in a mouthwatering renewal of the £400,000 race.

He has already had a taste of British racing, having finished a close second to The Lir Jet in the 2020 Norfolk Stakes under Andrea Atzeni when the ground was 'too soft'.

He went on to win at the Breeders' Cup later in the year and Ward – who had hoped to run him in the King’s Stand in June before the horse picked up a minor niggle – holds the three-year-old in the highest regard.

And he said Dettori was thrilled after putting him through his paces at the racecourse on Tuesday morning.

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Ward, who will jet in later this week, said: “I’ve said all along Golden Pal could be the best I have trained.

"He hasn’t achieved that yet, but I believe he will be right up there.

“He has settled in great at York and his preparation has gone well.

"He ran a big race at Saratoga last time which was very pleasing to see after the little injury that stopped us from going to Ascot earlier in the year.

“My main man Frankie went up to give him a canter on the track and he was very happy.

"It was good for him to get to know the horse and for the horse to get to know the racecourse. He is ready to go.

“Frankie has been my good luck charm and we have pointed for this race all season, so it’s great to have him on board.

“As the race gets closer I’m getting a little nervous. With these exciting colts it’s a bit like having lightning in a bottle, you can never be sure what to expect.”

Ward and Dettori are a force to be reckoned with at Royal Ascot – but they have a score to settle on the Knavesmire.

The close friends were left heartbroken when Lady Aurelia was beaten in a photo finish in the 2017 Nunthorpe – with Dettori infamously punching the air in premature celebration.

Ward said: “Lady Aurelia was a tough one to take. Frankie thought he had it so I went off his reaction.

“She ran a great race but was just beaten on the line. Hopefully there will be no doubts this time, it's a race I would love to win.”

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