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Crucial workout for Animal Kingdom
Keith Hamer
15:29 AEST Tue May 28 2013

American jockey John Velazquez will make a special trip to England this week to team up with Animal Kingdom in a significant work-out as part of the Dubai World Cup winner's preparation for Royal Ascot.

Animal Kingdom is being housed at David Lanigan's stable under the supervision of his American-based trainer Graham Motion ahead of the Queen Anne Stakes.

That is likely to be his final racecourse appearance before he joins the stallion roster at Australia's Arrowfield Stud.

"Everything seems really good," said Barry Irwin, founder member of breeders Team Valor, co-owners of the horse along with Arrowfield Stud and Sheikh Mohammed.

"The trainer is happy with him and he's going to go for a big workout this week with our jockey. He's flying over to ride him on Wednesday.

"We're anxious to see what he says. That will tell us what we want to know.

"We are going to keep him eligible for the Prince of Wales's Stakes, but we are pointing to the Queen Anne."

Arrowfield Stud proprietor John Messara is keen for Animal Kingdom to add a win on turf to his resume, making him even more attractive to Australian breeders.

The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner's best performance on turf was his closing second to Wise Dan in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile.

Messara bought a majority shareholding in the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner from Team Valor before Animal Kingdom's World Cup win.

Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation bought into the horse after his Dubai win with Messara now holding 50 per cent, Darley 29 per cent and Team Valor 21 per cent.

With Darley entering the partnership, Animal Kingdom will stand the northern hemisphere season at the sheikh's Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.


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