Wesley Ward grew up in the horseracing industry by way of his father, American trainer Dennis Ward. He started his career as a jockey and in 1984 won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in a year where he won riding championships at three separate tracks and rode 335 winners.
He continued his career in the saddle, riding around the globe in countries such as Italy, Malaysia and Singapore before retiring in 1989 after losing his battle with weight gain. Ward soon turned his hand to training and, following a spell as assistant to his father, took out his own licence in 1993.
Although a household name in the States, Ward was a relative unknown when sending a string of horses over to Britain for Royal Ascot in 2009. However, the crack American handler soon made a name for himself, saddling the first US-based winner at Royal Ascot when Strike The Tiger upset the odds in taking the Windsor Castle Stakes at 33-1.
Ward continued to send over a powerful string to Ascot for the royal meeting but did not enjoy further success until No Nay Never took the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes in 2013. The same horse would go on to record a first European Group 1 for Ward when taking the Prix Morny later on that season.
Hootenanny continued the winning thread for Ward in the 2014 Windsor Castle Stakes and also went on to become his first Breeders’ Cup winner when taking the Juvenile Turf.
2015 brought more international success to Ward as Acapulco routed the field in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes before he deservedly recorded a win in the QIPCO British Champions Series when Undrafted, partnered by Frankie Dettori, stormed home down the Ascot straight to capture the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Ward once again made his presence felt in the Series when flying filly Acapulco almost justified favouritism in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, only finding Mecca’s Angel too good in the Group 1 contest.