River Springboard

by Ed Meyer

posted on May 29, 2009 in News | No Comments >>

John Velazquez will ride six horses for US trainer Wesley Ward at Royal Ascot in June.

The top American jockey replaces the stricken Rene Douglas who, tragically, may not walk again after he was seriously injured in a fall at Arlington Park on Saturday.

Velazquez has previous experience with the Royal meeting, having ridden there for Godolphin in 2000.

On that occasion, he stood in for Frankie Dettori who was unable to ride after suffering serious injuries in a plane crash.

Ward is all set to bring sprinter Cannonball and five two-year-olds to Ascot.

“I’ve gone to John Velazquez to ride these horses,” Ward told the Racing Post.

“The horses worked awesome.”

“Judging by the two-year-olds’ workouts and times, if they were in races at Del Mar, Gulfstream, Belmont or Arlington they would win. I don’t care who races against them, so I can’t see them running a bad race at Ascot.”

“All they need now is one easy breeze next Monday and then it’s a case of getting them to Newmarket and keeping them happy.”