Slight Chance of 2013 Cox Plate for Animal Kingdom

Majority owner John Messara has left the door slightly ajar for globetrotting superstar Animal Kingdom to contest the $3 million 2013 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.

Odds-on favourite for Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, Messara said the plan is still to retire him after the race but indicated a victory could persuade the ownership group to race on.

“If he wins he’ll probably be the highest rated horse in the world and there are a lot of nice races that could fall his way,” Messara told Sky Sports Radio.

“The Breeders’ Cup, the Coral Eclipse here in England and even perhaps the Cox Plate in Australia [are all possibilites].

“At this stage of the game we’ve declared he will be retired after the race…we’ll have to sit down and think about it after the race but we’ve just got to win it first.”

Messara owns 50 per cent of the soon-to-be stallion, having bought the controlling share prior to his Dubai World Cup win in March. Sheikh Mohammed owns 29 per cent and Team Valor have 21 per cent.

The Queen Anne Stakes is the opening race of the Royal Ascot meeting and is scheduled to jump at 11:30pm AEST on Tuesday.

The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner will start a clear favourite, with Declaration Of War and Elusive Kate expected to provided the biggest resistance.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Declaration Of War is a Group 3 winner but will have to bounce back from a last-start fifth where he was beaten 11 1/2 lengths in the Lockinge Stakes. Elusive Kate was a Group 1 winner in France in 2011.

Also stepping out in the Queen Anne are Lockinge Stakes third Aljamaheer and likely Cox Plate contender Trade Storm.

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