The countdown to the Royal Ascot Carnival is nearly over, with all the action in the UK kicking off on Tuesday.
Opening the carnival is the Group 1 2013 Queen Anne Stakes (2000m) which has plenty of buzz about it due to the presence of international superstar Animal Kingdom.
The five-year-old is considered a $1.75 chance to follow in the footsteps of the famous Frankel who blitzed his rivals by 11 lengths in the race last year.
There’s no denying Animal Kingdom is the one to beat and he has both the form and record to prove it. Winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, he heads into Tuesday’s race on the back of a Dubai World Cup win in March.
Regardless of whether Animal Kingdom does as expected and wins the Queen Anne, it is expected the Royal Ascot hit-out will be his last.
“There is a small window of opportunity he could run again, but it is very unlikely,” trainer Graham Motion told The New York Times.
“He is entered in the Eclipse, at Sandown, only as a back-up to the Royal Ascot race, in case something went wrong leading up to Ascot.”
The only other in the Queen Anne Stakes market under double figures is Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old Declaration Of War ($8).
The son of War Front was a Group 3 winner in the Diamond Stakes in Ireland in October and was last seen running fifth to Farhh in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes.
Others featuing towards the top end of Queen Anne betting are John Gosden’s mare Elusive Kate ($13), Lockinge Stakes third Aljamaaheer ($16) and potential Cox Plate starter Trade Storm ($16).
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