06/20/2013 4:09PM

No Nay Never, Keeneland maiden winner, excels at Royal Ascot


American-based sires continued a solid run at Royal Ascot on Thursday, as Kentucky-bred and trained No Nay Never turned in a record-setting performance in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes on the famed meeting's third day.

The 2-year-old colt by Scat Daddy overcame a slow start to complete the five furlongs in :58.80 under red-hot jockey Joel Rosario, winning by one length and establishing a new record for the course distance by a juvenile.

Trained by Wesley Ward for Linda Shanahan (the wife of Coolmore associate Paul Shanahan) and Ice Wine Stable, No Nay Never won his career debut on April 26 on Keeneland’s Polytrack, then trained at the Lexington, Ky., racetrack prior to Royal Ascot. Ward said his colt will return to Keeneland to prepare for an assault on European Group 1 company later this summer.

“Everybody [at Keeneland] has been so gracious," Ward said. "After their meet is over, they keep the turf course pristine and they did a huge favor by letting us breeze on the grass. I want to thank them very much.

“I’ve spoken to the owners and what I’d like to do is get him home to Keeneland on Saturday, give him a break then bring him back for the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville [on August 18]. I like to keep them under my own thumb at home and it’s been proven that horses can come over here and win. It’s a beautiful environment at Keeneland where we train and it’s a very easy flight from Chicago to Paris so I don’t think that will be a problem.”

Bred in Kentucky by Jayne Doi Johnson and David Sparrow, No Nay Never is one of two winners from as many starters out of the winning Elusive Quality mare Cat's Eye Witness, who produced a full brother to her Ascot winner this year.

Out of the Grade 3-placed Exceller mare Comical Cat, Cat's Eye Witness is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Cat's Career and stakes winner Al's River Cat. It is the family of Grade 1 winner So Many Ways.

Chestnut Valley purchased No Nay Never for $170,000 as a weanling out of the Hunter Valley Farm, agent, consignment at the 2011 Keeneland November mixed sale. Consigned to the following year's Keeneland September yearling sale by Paramount Sales, agent, he fetched $95,000 from Cromwell Bloodstock.

Grade 1 winner Scat Daddy, who entered stud in 2008 at Coolmore's Ashford Stud division in Versailles, Ky., has become a popular young sire. The son of Johannesburg has produced standout runners such as Grade 1 winner Lady of Shamrock, Group 2 winner Daddy Long Legs, and Grade 2 winner Handsome Mike.