Royal Ascot 2023 Showdown: American Rascal vs. Elite Status
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Royal Ascot 2023 Showdown: American Rascal vs. Elite Status

Ascot Racecourse Set for Thrilling Royal Ascot 2023 Showdown

The excitement is building as Royal Ascot 2023 approaches, with a host of talented horses set to battle it out on the prestigious track. Trainer Wesley Ward is particularly confident about the chances of his American runner, American Rascal, in the Norfolk Stakes on Thursday.

Ward, who has previously tasted success at Royal Ascot with horses like No Nay Never and Shang Shang Shang, believes American Rascal has inherited the blistering speed of his dam, Lady Aurelia, a dual Royal Ascot heroine. The colt dazzled on his debut at Keeneland, and Ward is hopeful he can give the hot favorite, Elite Status, a serious challenge.

“Everything is unbelievable with American Rascal, it’s all systems forward. He’s travelled great, been training great. We couldn’t be happier with him,” said Ward. “American Rascal is the star of the show for us, anyway.”

Elite Status, trained by Karl Burke, has been heavily backed following an impressive display in the National Stakes at Sandown. Burke is confident his charge can make the most of his natural talents and deliver a winning performance on the hallowed Ascot turf.

“I think and I hope he’s a very talented horse for the future and this track will play to his strengths,” said Burke. “If he gets luck in running, for me he’s the one they’ve got to beat, but it’s very well me saying it, he’s got to go and do it.”

The Ribblesdale Stakes on the same day promises to be another thrilling contest, with the unbeaten Al Asifah leading the charge for the Gosden stable. Supplemented for the race by Shadwell, Al Asifah has impressed in her two starts so far and will be looking to continue her rapid progression.

“She’s come out of Goodwood in really good shape, she didn’t have a hard race,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for Shadwell. “In everyone’s opinion she is a filly of great potential, but it is a big step up and we’ll see where she fits in a bit more after we see her in the Ribblesdale.”

The Ribblesdale also features Sir Michael Stoute’s Infinite Cosmos and Ralph Beckett’s Bluestocking, both of whom will be aiming to upset the Gosden filly’s seemingly unstoppable momentum.

With a host of top-class equine talent on display and a wealth of Royal Ascot experience among the trainers, the stage is set for a thrilling few days of racing action at the iconic Berkshire venue.

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