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Wesley Ward set for first Glorious Goodwood runner after setting Maven Molecomb mission

Wesley Ward is eyeing a maiden trip to Glorious Goodwood.

US trainer, Wesley Ward looks set to saddle his first runner at Glorious Goodwood next month, after pointing Maven at the Group Three Molecomb Stakes on Wednesday 31st July.

Wesley Ward, unusually, drew a blank at Royal Ascot this year. Kimari came closest to handing the California-based trainer victory in 2019, when she came up a head short of Raffle Prize in the Queen Mary Stakes, with fancied runners like Nayibeth and Karak failing to land a blow, ensuring Ward failed to build on his impressive tally of Royal winners.

Maven had also been talked-up in the build-up to Ascot. By legendary sire American Pharaoh, people expected great things of Ward’s unbeaten colt leading up to the meeting, but the unseasonably soft ground forced Ward to swerve the Norfolk Stakes and set his sights on other prizes.

While many of Ward’s runners boarded a plane back to America, Maven headed for France to take part in the Group Three Prix du Bois. All eyes were on hot-favourite Hurricane Ivor at Chantilly, but it was the US raider who stole the headlines, surviving a late charge from Jolie to secure a maiden victory on European soil.

"It was great to see him win in France." Ward said to Press Association Sport this week. "It's special to win any Group race in Europe - and it vindicated our decision to bring him to Ascot."

"I think he would have shown up really well in the Norfolk, and it was a last-minute decision to scratch him. I just didn't think it was fair to the horse - especially with him being by American Pharoah - to let him run in conditions that probably wouldn't have been to his liking."



Plenty of options are now open for Ward and Maven, with races in his homeland or further participation on French soil available. Yet, it seems Ward has set his sights on a first ever representative at Glorious Goodwood instead.

"We're heading for the Molecomb - that's the plan," Ward continued. "I was all geared up to run Happy Like A Fool in the Molecomb a couple of years ago, before it poured down with rain and we decided to scratch her."

"I made it to the track, but unfortunately we haven't had a runner there yet. Let's hope for sunshine and good weather - and Maven will be there. It's a beautiful track and it will be exciting to have a runner."

As the entries haven’t been released, it’s unclear what sort of competition Maven will face in this Group Three. Previous winners of the Molecomb have took part in the Norfolk Stakes, Coventry Stakes and even the Commonwealth Cup earlier in the season. It’s highly likely Ward’s raider will face a high-quality field of rivals when he makes his British debut next month and it will be interesting to see how this son of American Pharaoh handles the pressure. 

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Wesley Ward set for first Glorious Goodwood runner after setting Maven Molecomb mission

US trainer, Wesley Ward looks set to saddle his first runner at Glorious Goodwood next month, after pointing Maven at the Group Three Molecomb Stakes on Wednesday 31st July.

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