Animal Kingdom faces twelve in Queen Anne Stakes

Animal Kingdom Dubai 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Kate Hunter
A battle for supremacy and an attempt at superiority in the kingdom of Queen Elizabeth II; Animal Kingdom will face twelve rivals as he bids for Group 1 glory in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.


For Graham Motion the countdown has begun towards an inaugural attempt at victory in his home country. Cambridge born and bred, Motion has never quite had that star to bring back to home shores in a bid for glory but the career of Animal Kingdom has provided an opportunity to achieve just that in his final start.


For the bookmakers the race is as clear cut as they come, heavily supported since his work at Ascot racecourse a fortnight ago Animal Kingdom is now a general odds-on favourite for the opening contest of the internationally renowned festival on Tuesday afternoon.


The days of Canford Cliffs, Goldikova and Frankel may have long gone for the Queen Anne Stakes and with Farhh missing the whole of Royal Ascot through injury, the Berkshire venue looks towards the American superstar to open the event in emphatic style just one year after the dominant performance of Frankel in the very same race. 

Rain and soft ground are two factors of British racing that the connections of Animal Kingdom have been a tad uneasy about, but Animal Kingdom has dispelled those concerns thus far with good works and gallops on his unfavoured surface. However, on Tuesday morning Ascot looks to expect minor showers prior to the running of this Group 1 contest. 


Farhh may be absent but his form is represented with the second, third and fourth from the Lockinge Stakes entered in Sovereign Debt, Aljamaaheer and Chill The Kite. Partnered by Ryan Moore, it'd be far from a shock to see Chill The Kite put up a bold bid in this contest. 


John Gosden is double-handed in this contest as he enters the exceptionally talented Elusive Kate and recent Epsom victor Gregorian. Elusive Kate has been a vision of unparalleled progression since her uncharacteristically poor performance in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf contest of 2011. 

Second in two Group 1 contests against her own sex, Elusive Kate also managed Group 1 glory in Deauville last season as well as a fine third-placed finish against the colts on the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot. Partnered by William Buick once more, her chance looks to be the one Animal Kingdom must fear the most. 

Uncharacteristically, Aidan O'Brien is represented by just one horse in this contest. Pacemakers, such as Windsor Palace, are absent on this occasion as Joseph O' Brien is sent into battle aboard the Lockinge Stakes fifth placed finisher, Declaration of War


Trade Storm is an intriguing runner. Fourth in the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan, this star of David Simcock's yard has been progressing at an alarming rate. Owned by Qatar Racing, Trade Storm gets the guiding hands of Jamie Spencer. 


The entries are rounded out by Richard Fahey's Gabrial and the Richard Hannon trained duo of Libranno and Trumpet Major.


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Older Comments about Animal Kingdom faces twelve in Queen Anne Stakes...

It gets very good compliments from trainers who ship in. They favor that course over the others in America. Interesting how the Turf course is the outside course when every other track has inner turf courses. The stretch is what 2 furlongs? or 3 ?
Yes the back stretch turf is about 10 feet higher than the home stretch...LONGEST stretch on the turf in North America, kept in very good shape and is right up against the stands unlike most turf courses around.
Travel_Vic- doesn't the Woodbine Course rise going past the clubhouse into the first turn?. I am just trying to look over the course here on line.
most of their courses are simply rails put up over existing ground with all its topography, then some like Longchamps go UPHILL at the finish....They are nothing like a single course here...Lyaout wise maybe Woodbine's turf course as it does drop down a bit from the back stretch to the strech but nothing like the undulations you see all the time over there.
I am no expert on European racing but it seems like racing there requires a very high level of fitness. Uphill runs and the fastest part of the race being at the end, horses really need to be fit. In the United States today freshness seems to be more important than fitness, few American trainers use prep races for example. By the way polo horses are taught to change leads when the rider shifts their weight, I don't know if it would work with a 115 lb jockey though.
@AmbitiousD- I would assume they cue them with reins, the stick or their knees. But, I could be wrong. I just thought I would answer because I think you have asked this more than once and nobody seems to have answered you. I am just speculating.
I do understand what ILuvTurfRacing is saying. This horse has been running turns his whole career. Thoroughbreds are creatures of habit. Training a horse on a straight and racing on a straight are two different things. It may not bother Animal Kingdom at all. But, if his trainer mentioned that as one of the question mark, he must think that it could make a difference. On paper Animal Kingdom looks to dominate, and he may just do that. But, Elusive Kate looks to be the lone actual speed and may be able to stroll out front. I would also venture to say she is a little better than just a good filly, and may have progressed from 3yrs to 4 yrs. Aljamaaheer and Sovereign Debt are threats from the held up horses and Trade Storm could be the sleeper. It is not a race I will bet but will enjoy watching.
Can anyone fill me in on how horses are supposed to cue to change leads on a straight course? I'm used to seeing horses use entering or exiting turns on oval tracks.
@ILuvTurfRacing, I really don't understand your point. Do you think it's harder to run over a course with undulations than one with two turns? Actually adding another furlong to the distance about makes it correct. This is a 5yo stallion in his prime and raced into top form. If you think a good 4yo filly who has never raced with the quality of horses as AK has is a threat to one of the best horses in the world, good luck to you. As for me I'll take 4/5 and cash as opposed to 5/1 and rip, or R.I.P. as the case may be. Something you might consider is playing her under AK where you will get your 4/1-5/1.
Go go go Animal Kingdom! I loved you at Turfway. I loved you at Churchill Downs! I'll love you at Ascot! One of a kind!
Animal Kingdom/Sovereign Debt/Aljamaaheer
@icyhotboo, Yes, it's said great horses can run on any course. But in the case of Animal Kingdom, all of his best runs, I.E., Ky. Derby, Dubai World Cup, BC Mile, & Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, have all come over flat, left handed tracks, no matter what the surface was. The straight course at Ascot with it's up and down humps throughout the course will be an entirely different ballgame than going left handed over flat tracks for Animal Kingdom. Elusive Kate ran 5 times at G1 level in 2012 over straight mile courses which included Ascot, Deauville, Newmarket, & Newmarket's July Course and she won the G1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville beating Golden Lilac and was never out of the $$ in any of the other 4. I'll take 5-1 on her versus even money on Animal Kingdom at Ascot, thank you very much.
  • DanMunn1 · I think you're really missing a few things here. Particularly how different all of those tracks are that you've mentioned for Elusive Kate but I wish you the best of luck. · 1615 days ago
This is a weak edition of the Queen Anne. Not really betable in my opinion. If Elusive Kate has improved from last year, she will be the biggest challenge. I think they are trying to keep the course rated good. They feel the firmer the course, the more jarring it is on the thoroughbred, so they do try to keep it rated at least good. It has been good to firm in spots, still might be.
Great horses can run on any course. He's only had one race since his come back from an injury in which he's been at the top of his game. That was in Dubai. His tune up races against Wise Dan and Point Of Entry were spectacular in themselves considering them for what they were. Even money is a fair line for him. An overlay IMO, which if it holds up, and the course is firm, is tempting. This is a horse they should let run and just one time forget about the money breeding earns. A multi surface horse like this is rare and a tip off to greatness, if they would only let him run. We the fans always get the shaft when it comes to seeing the best run. Only the geldings and mares get to show how good they are and by doing so keep some interest in n/a racing because without them we'd be hard pressed to sustain this sport. As soon as a colt or horse shows a hint of greatness it's off to the breeding shed.
@ILuvTurfRacing - Well aware of Elusive Kate's record. However, you're missing the point that her main form lines all come against fillies and on the undulations of Newmarket's various courses. Deauville run was, in honesty, a penalty kick and whilst she will finish in the top 3 here her 3rd in the QEII over course and distance has to suggest concern as to whether she is as effective against colts.
no excuses there is not a legit grade 1 miler in this race there all from a poor crop he should win this running backwards. I would be looking at trade storm as the main danger if he runs to hes dubai form
  • On The Gallop's · Elusive Kate is a dual GR1 winner at a mile. She is the one you will have to catch. She should be up on the lead or near the lead through out. Trade Storm is the second runner who could run big. Those two with AK in a tri. · 1616 days ago
  • ILuvTurfRacing · @On The Gallop's, Like you tri-fecta selection. I have Elusive Kate 1st(prefer her because of her experience over straight tracks), Animal Kingdom-2nd, and Trade Storm-3rd, and box the tri-fecta. Should any of those 3 not run up to par Gregorian has become a fast improver lately as has Sovereign Debt, who's also ran well at Ascot before. · 1616 days ago
I wish Animal Kingdom all the luck in the world, but I can't back him to win the Queen Anne Stakes. His wins in the Kentucky Derby & Dubai World Cup, plus his Breeders Cup Mile 2nd all came over flat, left handed tracks. The straight course at Ascot with it's up and down humps throughout the course will be a different ball game entirely for Animal Kingdom. Elusive Kate has run very well over that course at G1 level and may be the horse to be on in the Queen Anne, IMO.
  • DanMunn1 · Well...but not well enough really. If you took the form direct through a line of Excelebration then AK will win....but the track is an unknown. EK is arguably better at a track like Newmarket in my opinion · 1616 days ago
  • ILuvTurfRacing · @DanMunn1, Elusive Kate ran 5 times at G1 level in 2012, every time over a straight mile, and was never out of the $$. She was 2nd behind a very talented filly in Giofra in the G1 Falmouth Stakes on Newmarket's July Course, she beat Golden Lilac in the G1 Prix Rothschild on Deauville's straight course, 3rd behind Excelebration & Cityscape in the G1 Prix Jacques Lemoire, again on Deuville's straight mile course, 2nd behind Siyouma in the G1 Sun Chariot Stakes on Newmarket's rolly mile, and 3rd again behind Excelebration & Cityscape in the G1 QE II Stakes on Ascot's straight course. Don't get me wrong, I would love nothing more than to see an American horse win the premier G1 mile race of the royal meeting, but I just can't see taking 4-6 on Animal Kingdom who's only proven going around flat, left handed tracks when I can get 7 or 8-1 on Elusive Kate who's got proven G1 form multiple times over the kind of tracks the Queen Anne Stakes will be ran over. JMO. · 1616 days ago
Black caviar by a mile, moonlight cloud,society rock,krypton factor are all grade 1 capable sprinters and all have grade 1 wins to there name in multiple country's where as in the queen anne elusive kate is the ONLY grade 1 winner how poor is that for a queen anne? and EK is not even race fit the race should be rated a g2 with this field
I think the better question is, who will have faced the greater challenge?
Who will have faced the stronger field at Ascot, AK or Black Caviar?

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