06/12/2013 9:00AM

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.

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
I wish A.K. and J.V. a safe journey as well the other's that are entered. The task at hand will be much more difficult than most may think, let's hope he represents well and goes out on a good note. Will be watching as I'm sure many of A.K's legion of fans. Run hard run fast and leave it all on the track, after all it is his final race let's see what you got
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Wow Tuesday means every fan of his can watch the race!
JeanK More than 1 year ago
Johnny got the mount he has earned... Joel has shown some cracks in the armor in grade I events...but that is my opinion...it'll be a pleasure see this horse run, he can only win...but that is secondary to see Animal Kingdom on the turf he was bred to lavish.
john murray More than 1 year ago
If JV has some limited experience at Ascot, plus the AK Kentucky Derby win, surely there must be several top UK riders who know the course like the back of their hand. Last big US win in UK, that I remember was Braulio Baeza, stealing the long lead with Roberto, not sure which race it was maybe in the late '70's?. Hope he wins but I won't be surprised if it is more difficult than we think. Where can we see live streaming video on Tuesday, anyone?
JeanK More than 1 year ago
tvg? or twinspires i am not promoting either service..never would.but you can get streaming there..good luck.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Maybe OUR Animal Kingdom doesn't like England and wants to come home. Maybe he but the rider bc he's unhappy with his new surroundings and lack of familiar humans. I really hate seeing such a beautiful champion going into retirement outside of US.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Maybe he "bit" ^^^^, lol!
JeanK More than 1 year ago
Well, USA has to get away from drugs and clean up its act before it can even to pretend it has the right for Animal Kingdom's last race. It is a wonderful canvas, in Ascot no less, to stamp a legend... Can't wait to see him run.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Robin Pati you shined a light on yourself with that "I hope he runs last comment". LOL When you sober up read your post again. Unfortunately, type without the facial expressions (maybe you were joking) don't come across. See how it reads on the stark paper. I dunno.... :-))
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
I was wrong about Dawn Approach Too bad they can't let AK run one more month and race in the King George against the best Europe has to offer. Britain's most prestigious race for older horses is so close they could wait one more month.
John Burton More than 1 year ago
Go fast and win ANIMAL KINGDOM!
Jamesbond Bond More than 1 year ago
If people read DRF than you would know JV was given this mount 3 month ago.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
And won the 2011 derby together. JV and AK are not strangers.
Arrkon Su More than 1 year ago
This is for Steven Simonovic. You related to the ones in Hot Springs, Arkansas?