This week, Trainer Wesley Ward announced the retirement of his star sprinter, Lady Aurelia. She raced 10 times and won 5 of those. She was only ever out of the placings twice. Lady Aurelia was a horse that did not take kindly to losing.
The 4 year old filly, owned by American partners Stonestreet Stables LLC and Peter Leidel, burst onto the UK scene after only one run in the USA. Her American debut saw her score in a Maiden contest impressively. Wesley Ward had such tremendous confidence in his speedster, he decided to bring her to Royal Ascot only 2 months after her first race. The contest was to be the 5F Queen Mary Stakes, a group 2 for 2 year old fillies. She was the 2-1F and justified that support with Frankie Dettori on board. She blitzed the field and became, in my opinion, one of the most impressive winners over 5F in this country. She clocked a time of 1m 0.14s (the race’s record being 59.18, held by Ceiling Kitty for her 2012 win). Not only was she fast, she was also visually impressive for only her 2nd ever start. Frankie was beaming after her performance, as he was right to be! It’s not every day you get to ride a horse with such electric pace.
This wonder filly went on to win at Deauville, taking the Group 1 Morny over 5F. She only won by just shy of a length, but to be fair to her, on only her 3rd racecourse appearance she had already managed to amass a group 2 and a group 1 win. Lady Aurelia then went on to the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, but 6F was seemingly her undoing. She finished second behind Brave Anna and Roly Poly, of which, Roly Poly went on to become a triple group one winner over a mile.
The following year, she went back to the US to race there, she won again comfortably. This set her up perfectly for The King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot 2017. Once again, Lady Aurelia tore the field apart and won by 3 lengths from Profitable, a Kings Stand Stakes Winner himself. She clocked a time of 57.45s, milliseconds out of the race’s record time. This made Lady Aurelia a double group 1 winner and it seems that Ascot was her favourite place to perform.
After the King’s Stand Stakes 2017, arguably this superstar filly’s best days were over. Her next start saw a harrowing defeat in the Group 1 Nunthorpe, to Marsha. Ward and co. decided that, from there, it would be best to take her back to the USA. On her first start back in the US she was virtually last in the Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint and then failed to win next time out too when touched off by an older horse, frustratingly. Her last attempt at revival was in the 2018 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, but it was not to be. She was not the horse of old and finished in 7th place of 14.
One month on from her disappointing return to the UK, Wesley Ward announced her retirement, which brings us to now. Despite failed attempts to get back on track after her 2017 King’s Stand Stakes win, Lady Aurelia still remains as one of the fastest 5F horses seen in the United Kingdom. Her freakish Queen Mary romp in 2016 will always be one of the most impressive and its enough to give anyone Goosebumps.
We wish her all the best in her new venture as a broodmare and hope that her potential offspring can inherit her electric pace.
*I would also like to apologize for the lack of articles from me in the last 4 months or so; exams had to become a priority! Additionally, I would like to thank Samantha for her tremendous efforts with this site, she really has done a fantastic job holding the fort, so thank you for that!*