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Kingdom Shines at Ascot...

May 30, 2013


Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}) was put through his paces at Ascot yesterday as he is geared towards a tilt at the G1 Queen Anne S. at the Royal meeting June 18. Watched by trainer Graham Motion,the 5-year-old was partnered by John Velazquez in the spin over five furlongs of the straight course and stretched away from his companion before fly-jumping at the winning line to advertise his well-being. "He just saw the line and jumped right on top of it," Velazquez told PA Sport. "It's a different place and you've got to expect something new. The grass was going one way, and the line the other and he jumped on top of it, rather than over it. I knew he had seen something, but he'll have blinkers and a shadow roll on raceday anyway. Everything else went very well."

According to a tweet from Graham Motion, the chestnut went his final quarter mile in :24.6. Animal Kingdom, who has been stabled with David Lanigan in Lambourn since arriving from Dubai, was on rain softened ground and his rider was happy with the outcome. "He hadn't been on soft turf like today, but he handled it very well," Velazquez added. "He's very versatile, he has won on dirt, synthetic and grass, I wasn't sure if he'd handle it, but he did. I hadn't ridden him since Gulfstream the February before last, but he felt the same." Motion was delighted with the exercise and said, "John was very pleased and I'm really happy how he handled the soft grass. This isn't something I would normally do, but I thought this was very important. What we're doing is so different, every stone we turn over will help. David Lanigan has been great, it's a relaxed environment and I'd imagine he'll do an easier piece of work next week and one bit more the week before Ascot." Arrowfield Stud's owner John Messara was also in attendance. "We've already had a pretty strong amount of interest already, with some
very good mares booked," Messara said. Animal Kingdom is expected to retire following the Queen Anne in time for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.