Animal Kingdom leads overseas charge at Royal Ascot

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Although Black Caviar’s connections have decided to retire the unbeaten filly, Ascot racegoers will still have a couple of very exciting overseas runners to look forward to when the big meet comes around.

US trainer Graham Motion will be entering his esteemed horse Animal Kingdom into the Queen Anne Stakes. Winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby and this year’s Dubai World Cup, he has already won over £5 million in prize money and it is 3/1 this is his latest lucrative win.

His most recent victory at Meydan confirmed this horse as one of the best in the world, although there could be concerns that the mile may be too sharp a trip for the son of Leroidsanimaux, with all four of his wins coming over nine furlongs or more.

However, connections have decided that this is the best option after also considering the Prince of Wales Stakes. Motion stated “After walking the course, I feel the mile in the Queen Anne will afford our horse plenty of ground. We had only considered the other race because it is run over the same mile-and-a-quarter distance as the Kentucky Derby and World Cup.”

Perhaps more of a worry than the trip would be the record of five-year-olds in this race. Only three of the last 12 winners have been the same age as Animal Kingdom, with four-year-olds tending to be most successful in the Group 1 affair. Motion’s charge appears to be in as good form as ever though, and recorded an extremely impressive time in the Dubai World Cup.

For the South African contingent, Shea Shea represents an excellent chance in the King’s Stand Stakes. Also a winner at the Dubai World Cup meet, the six-year-old sprinter possesses a frightening turn of foot.

The 9/4 favourite was particularly impressive on his penultimate start when Christope Soumillion shook him up from two furlongs out as his charge shot past his rivals to win easily by two-and-a-half lengths.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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