American invader Lady Aurelia dominated an international field of veteran turf sprinters when she captured the King's Stand (G1) on opening day of the world-famous Royal Ascot meet in England on June 20. The victory marked Lady Aurelia’s second win at Royal Ascot, where last year at 2 she won the Queen Mary (G2) by 7 lengths.
Lady Aurelia, who won her career debut at Keeneland in April 2016, last year also won the Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville in France, was third in the Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park (G1) at Newmarket in England and received a Cartier Racing Award as 2-year-old filly of the year. Based at Keeneland with trainer Wesley Ward, she is the first horse trained in the U.S. to win a Cartier award, which honors outstanding horses in Europe.
Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables bred Lady Aurelia, a daughter of Scat Daddy, and races her with George Bolton and Peter Leidel.
“She was always a standout physically from the time she was born: a beautiful foal, weanling and yearling,” said John Moynihan, bloodstock adviser for Stonestreet.
Stonestreet, with James Herbener Jr., agent, consigned Lady Aurelia to the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where Bolton and Leidel purchased her for $350,000.
“Lady Aurelia is an extremely talented star who has been flashy since being a foal,” Bolton said. “At the Keeneland sale, our agent, John Moynihan, not only advised Peter Leidel and me to buy this well-muscled, fast-looking and well-balanced filly but, of course, told her breeder, Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Farm, to stay in. The sport is quickly going global and (Lady Aurelia) made America proud.”
“We always expected her to be precocious and run early, which she did,” Moynihan said. “She confirmed our expectations when we breezed her the first couple of times (in early 2016). At that time, we discussed, if we were ever going to point one to Royal Ascot, she would be a great prospect.”
In her 2017 debut, Lady Aurelia prepped for her return to Royal Ascot by winning Keeneland’s Giant's Causeway (L) against older female rivals on April 15.
Lady Aurelia was the lone 3-year-old in the field of 17 runners for the 5-furlong King’s Stand. She got away in good order under John Velasquez, made the lead after three furlongs and found another gear to draw away by three lengths. Defending King's Stand champion Profitable was second, with favorite Marsha a head back in third.
The King’s Stand marked Ward’s eighth win at Royal Ascot.
In August, Lady Aurelia returned to England for the Coolmore Nunthorpe (G1) at York. The favorite for the Aug. 25 race, the filly and jockey Frankie Dettori were caught at the finish by older rival and Group 1 winner Marsha. A nose separated the two.
Stonestreet tweeted: "So proud of our Lady Aurelia and her determined effort today! All but for a nostril #girlsingold"