Racing Post: Thief takes precious trophy boxes from Woodford home

12 golden Royal Ascot trophy boxes were trainer's prized possessions

VERSAILLES, Ky. (By Jonathan Harding/Racing Post) – Trainer Wesley Ward said his family is “devastated” at the theft Tuesday morning of 12 golden Royal Ascot trophy boxes from his home in Versailles, Ky., on Tuesday morning.

Ward has become a major figure at Royal Ascot since landing a juvenile double with Strike The Tiger and Jealous Again on his first visit to the meeting in 2009 and last year he added to his haul with Campanelle’s Group 1 success in the Commonwealth Cup.

The trophies included the one presented to Ward by the Queen after he won the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes with Undrafted in 2015, with the trainer stating that the possible six-figure value of the items paled in comparison to their sentimental value.

“I’m pretty bummed out by it all,” Ward said on Wednesday. “It’s a great loss for my family and future generations of my family. My son Riley, who’s been there all along at Ascot, is devastated.

“They would be expensive to replace but for someone to sell on I’m not sure what sort of value they would have – it was the sentimental value of them really.

“They’re beautiful boxes engraved with the horse’s name, including the one I received from the Queen when Undrafted won, which is a memory that my kids and I will never forget.”

Ward received a notification at 10.53am on Tuesday from a remote camera inside his home with a screenshot of an individual wearing a yellow jacket who is believed to be responsible for the thefts. The image did not show the person’s face.

The trainer said other items of value, such as a laptop, were not stolen, with a trophy for Judy The Beauty’s 2014 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint the only other piece that was taken along with the Royal Ascot trophy boxes.

Ward’s near-annual visits to Royal Ascot have become a feature of the meeting since the victories of Strike The Tiger and Jealous Again. He has been particularly potent in the Queen Mary with four winners (Jealous Again, Acapulco, Lady Aurelia and Campanelle) and often teamed up successfully with Frankie Dettori.

“I don’t understand why they would take them because I can’t see who would be buying them,” Ward added. “It’s really upsetting because they were so important to my family.”

An investigation into the theft has been launched by the Versailles Police Department, with detective Steve Sparkman the lead officer on the case.

Anyone with information for the police relating to the theft of the trophies can contact them on +1 859 509 0991 or +1 859 873 3126 quoting the case number 2022 02 046.

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