06/12/2013 10:00AM

Animal Kingdom breezes uphill five furlongs on a synthetic track for Royal Ascot start

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Neville Hopwood
Animal Kingdom, shown in Duabi prior to his World Cup victory, will make his final career start Tuesday at Royal Ascot.

Animal Kingdom on Wednesday morning had his final breeze for the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday at Royal Ascot when he worked five furlongs on an uphill synthetic-surface gallop in Lambourn, England.

Trainer Graham Motion, who has been on hand since last weekend, said Animal Kingdom was timed in about 1:03 for the five furlongs. Peter Carberry, a steeplechase jockey, rode him, and Animal Kingdom went in company with a horse, Perpetually, who has become his regular workmate. 

“Everything went well,” Motion said. “He seems like he’s pretty fit. It’s a one-mile gallop and a steady climb, especially the last few furlongs. It’s not like working around the track.”

Animal Kingdom has been stabled at trainer David Lanigan’s yard in Lambourn since early April, having shipped there from Dubai after winning the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 30. The Group 1 Queen Anne, a straight-course mile for which Animal Kingdom is the solid antepost betting favorite in overseas markets, is expected to be Animal Kingdom’s final race before he goes off to a second career as a stallion shuttling between Australia and the United States.

Animal Kingdom has settled into a good routine overseas, Motion said, going out nearly every day with Perpetually, an exercise partner supplied by Sheikh Mohammed, whose Darley breeding operation bought a share in Animal Kingdom this past spring. Carberry has become Animal Kingdom’s regular rider over about the last month since Animal Kingdom bit rider Alice Clapham’s index finger severely enough to take her out of action.

“That isn’t really like him,” Motion said. “He’s generally a kind horse.”

It was raining Wednesday in central England, but conditions have generally been dry, to the extent that Ascot has been watering its course this week. The forecast going forward looks favorable, and though Motion would prefer good going, Animal Kingdom had a racecourse workout at Ascot two weeks ago and handled soft turf without issue, according to Motion and jockey John Velazquez, who flew in to work the horse and will ride him in the Queen Anne.

Dawn Approach likely for St. James’s Palace Stakes

Godolphin and trainer Jim Bolger made a surprise announcement Wednesday that Dawn Approach was a likely runner Tuesday at Royal Ascot in the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Dawn Approach suffered the first loss of his career when he finished last on June 1 in the Epsom Derby, his first start beyond one mile. Dawn Approach would not settle in the 1 1/2-mile Derby for jockey Kevin Manning, tugging his way to the front after a few furlongs and tiring badly in the stretch.

Bolger suggested this past weekend that there were no immediate plans for Dawn Approach, but the colt now appears a likely runner at a much more suitable trip next week.

“He has been left in the St. James’s Palace Stakes, and subject to a satisfactory piece of work Thursday, he is an intended runner,” said the Ireland-based Bolger.