Animal Kingdom - Dubai 26.03.2013

Animal Kingdom: bookmakers reported "relentless" support for the US star

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Animal Kingdom 8-11 for Queen Anne Stakes

ANIMAL KINGDOM is 8-11 favourite and destined to shorten further in the betting for the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday after he completed his work and the challenge of two of his closest rivals melted away.

The Dubai World Cup hero completed his serious work with an uphill breeze over five furlongs on Wednesday morning with regular workmate Perpetually.

Later the same day the list of 15 runners declared for the Queen Anne did not include Most Improved and Giofra, who had featured among the four closes challengers to Animal Kingdom in the ante-post market.

“Everything went well,” reported trainer Graham Motion of the workout. “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.”

Bookmakers took the view opposition looks thin with Coral and Paddy Power among those to cut Animal Kingdom to 8-11.

With the market for the St James’s Palace Stakes now springing to life on the back of the news Dawn Approach is set to run, Tuesday’s curtain-raiser looks set to provide the shortest-price favourite of the meeting for the second year running following Frankel’s 1-10 romp 12 months ago.

“Over the last 48 hours the support for Animal Kingdom has been relentless including several four-figure bets and it now looks certain that the Graham Motion-trained runner will emulate last year’s star, Frankel, by starting odds-on for the Queen Anne Stakes,” said Coral spokesman Simon Clare.

Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels said he planned to halt watering the track after receiving the latest weather forecast.

He said: "It's a mixture of good and good to firm. We've watered today, but won't be watering tomorrow. Though there is no significant rain forecast for the next 48 hours, heavy showers are possible towards the end of the weekend and we will review the updated forecasts tomorrow and on Friday before considering watering again."

THINK Flat racing and most think of Royal Ascot. The hats - running the gamut from stunning to misguided - the pageantry, the Queen in her carriage, the tops 'n' tails, the champagne on lush green lawns and, not forgetting, the incredible racing come together to form one of Britain's most iconic sporting events.

Over five days in mid-June the nation's great and good descend upon the royal racetrack for an occasion rich in every sense - in heritage, in sporting merit,and in the vast array of wealth represented by the crowds of dukes, earls and oligarchs strutting before the grandstand.

For mere mortals Royal Ascot is a chance to watch and wonder at the elaborate outfits donned at the Berkshire racecourse and watch in wonder as the cream of British and Irish Flat talent square off against each other and - increasingly - the steady stream of raiders from Australia, America and other corners of the globe.

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