Lady Aurelia was incredibly impressive in her second start, winning the five-furlong Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot on ground that was probably not to her liking.
The 2-year-old Scat Daddy filly romped by seven lengths under jockey Frankie Dettori, emphatically proving the other entrants no match. She turned in a similar performance in her first start at Keeneland in April, winning a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race on the dirt by 7 1/2 lengths and set a track record with a final time of :50.85.
Lady Aurelia's Queen Mary victory provided trainer Wesley Ward with his seventh Royal Ascot winner. The filly was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and is owned by Stonestreet, George Bolton, and Peter Leidel.
She took the lead in the Queen Mary after a half-furlong, and by the time she had run another half-furlong, it was clear no one was going to catch her.
"We always knew she was special from the time we broke her at the farm in Ocala," said John Moynihan, Stonestreet's bloodstock adviser. "It was an amazing race and we were certainly worried about the rain and the soft ground they had, but she powered through it and we were ecstatic.
"She ran an unbelievable race on ground that probably doesn't suit her, and I really don't know what kind of performance she would have run on faster ground."
The acclaim for Ward's latest Royal Ascot victor—his third in the Queen Mary, and arguably his most impressive to date—continued to roll in from her connections.
Dettori said: "To win a sprint by seven lengths at Royal Ascot, I've never seen anything like that—especially from a 2-year-old. When I got to the furlong and a half (pole), I asked her to go, and she found another gear. I was completely shocked.
"Unbelievable, she's a lovely filly. Well done to Wesley; he's a master of the sprinters."
Ward said Lady Aurelia may stay in Europe for the summer, but that will be determined after talking to the owners. Possible targets include the Darley Prix Morny (Fr-I).
Moynihan said: "There's a chance she will be left in Europe and a chance she will come back to the U.S. The fact that she performed so well on ground that didn't suit her means Europe will be a consideration."
For now, he added, they are just enjoying the victory—definitely one to savor.