Rising star, Tyler Gaffalione of the American riding ranks is excited for its very first visit in Royal Ascot – which is an opportunity for him to take a chance on what he refers to as “the greatest eight months of my life.”
Gaffalione is planned to work with US trainer Wesley Ward next week who is known for training 10 champions during the popular meeting through the past decade.
The 24-year-old jockey made a mark as he saddled War Of Will to championship in the Preakness Stakes becoming a US Classic-winning equestrian the previous month. This was possible thanks to Ward who now perseveres to creating a name on the international stage together with Bound For Nowhere on one of his rides to the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Many hailed the colt as the next superstar like War of Will’s trainer Mark Casse and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey in which Gaffalione tied a record of seven winners for Gulfstream Park on one card race way back in 2017.
Gaffalione was unlikely to repeat his Preakness-like winning effort on War Of Will during last week’s Belmont Stakes tilt.
The jockey said on an interview that: “He was a little empty and tired, but it was completely understandable,” as the trainer takes on a new challenge that he has to concentrate on flying to England on Sunday night.
Hence, he added that he’s excited.
He even shared that he has been following Royal Ascot for the last couple of years, and the more he watches the racing, the more he is intrigued. He believes that it is a beautiful racecourse and world-class event. That makes him look forward to the event.
John Velazquez will share rides with Ward; however, Gaffalione wants to be involved every day and has been doing his homework on the track.
The trainer has also talked to a few riders that have been to Ascot in the past. He reiterated that the main difference is that it is a straightaway. At where they are, they run five-eighths and they usually go for a single track. He’s really paying attention to that.
“Really everyone is saying to enjoy it – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – so I am going in there hoping to have a good time and to learn as much as possible.
“The only one I know I am sure is Bound For Nowhere. The other ones, Wesley make those decisions, but I am really looking forward to Bound For Nowhere. He’s been working great here.”
The trainer said that the colt has run once this year over at Keeneland at a tremendous race. He mentioned that he has not worked him but he has been building up in company with him which made him claim that the bet is 100 per cent for the race.
“Wesley knows exactly what he’s doing, preparing for these races. He has a lot of faith in him, so that gives me a lot of confidence going into this race.”
Ward and Gaffilione have a record for being a former Eclipse Award champions as North America’s winner apperentice. Gaffalione had a great career and he’s grateful to all the trainers and owners out there for the never-ending opportunities.