Time up for Lady Aurelia
Wesley Ward has confirmed that dual Royal Ascot winner Lady Aurelia has been retired.
The sprinting superstar had been beaten in her last four starts, including in an unsuccessful defence of the King's Stand Stakes at Ascot last month.
Lady Aurelia, winner of five of her ten career starts, had looked well short of her best form in that contest.
She was a seven-length winner of the Queen Mary at Ascot in 2016 in one of the most impressive displays of recent years at the showpiece meeting. A year later, she took on her elders and won the King's Stand in fine style.
Last August she was denied victory by Marsha in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York under Frankie Dettori in a thrilling photo finish.
"She's been retired. It was a hard decision for me, it probably wasn't as hard for her owners," Ward told Press Association Sport.
"She's been feeling so good at home, she looks a million dollars, but we have to admit that her last three races haven't been good.
"Admittedly she set very high standards, but she hasn't been living up to those."
While her trainer was initially keen to see her race again, Ward says he fully supports the decision to retire four-year-old Lady Aurelia to the paddocks at this stage.
"It's best for her that she's retired, she's sound and healthy and she's done a tremendous amount for my career. I can't thank connections enough for trusting me to train her," he added.
"I've got to try to find a replacement now, but horses like her are once in a lifetime."
With Lady Aurelia out of the picture, Battaash is 4/5 to win the Nunthorpe at York on 24th August while King's Stand winner Blue Point is available at 7/2 and recent July Cup scorer US Navy Flag is 999/1 to drop right back to five-furlongs and win the Group One sprint.
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