The Queen Anne Stakes will get underway on Tuesday at Ascot Racecourse, with 2011 Kentucky Derby champion Animal Kingdom entering the field of 13 as the prohibitive favorite to find the winner's circle.
This venue was founded by Queen Anne in 1711, hence the name of the race that begins the five-day Royal Ascot. Each day begins with a royal procession, as the races in the Royal Meeting provide plenty of excitement.
Channel 4 Racing captures the site of the forthcoming ceremonial procedures on Twitter:
This event is known for combining style, entertainment and tradition to create one of the United Kingdom's premier sporting spectacles.
Jockey John Velazquez was in the saddle for Animal Kingdom's triumph at Churchill Downs, and will get the mount again for trainer H. Graham Motion. Animal Kingdom has five wins and five seconds in 11 starts as he continues an impressive career after his Kentucky Derby victory.
Let's take a look at this marquee race in Berkshire, located just six miles from Windsor Castle, as well as some predictions as to how the race will finish.
When: Tuesday, June 18—post time is 9:30 a.m. ET
Where: Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire, England
TV: Channel 4 (UK)
Listen: BBC 5 Radio Live
Post Positions and Complete Field
Tom P. Queally
William T. Buick
|Chil The Kite|| |
Ryan L. Moore
|Declaration Of War||Aidan O'Brien||Joseph O'Brien||6-1|
|7||Aljamaaheer||Roger Varian||Paul Hanagan||15-1|
|8||Gabrial||Richard A. Fahey||Kieren Fallon||30-1|
|9||Trumpet Major||Richard Hannon||Richard Hughes||30-1|
|10||Sovereign Debt||Michael L.Bell||Adam Kirby||15-1|
|11||Monsieur Chevalier||P.J. O'Gorman || Darryll Holland ||100-1 |
|12||Trade Storm||David M. Simcock ||Jamie Spencer ||12-1 |
|13||Animal Kingdom||Graham Motion||John Velazquez||4-5|
Win: Animal Kingdom
With the exception of a sixth-place finish at the Belmont Stakes, this horse has been in contention for the ultimate prize in every race he's ever run in—and has frequently emerged as the victor.
The one-mile flat track shouldn't be particularly grueling, and having Velazquez aboard obviously helps the cause, since the jockey knows this horse as well as anyone and has ridden him to epic success.
Animal Kingdom has so much experience, and isn't facing a particularly formidable field—hence his extremely favorable odds to cross the finish first.
However, trainer Graham Motion is somewhat worried about the potential problems that Ascot can present if there happens to be a sloppy track. According to BBC, there is a chance of heavy rain, so that is a possibility.
Such massive expectations can be worrisome, as he professed to BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght:
Another prolific jockey in Joel Rosario just rode Animal Kingdom to victory at the Grade I Dubai World Cup, though, so the five-year-old also enters this race in fine form.
Even with how unpredictable horse racing can be, it would be somewhat of a shock to see Animal Kingdom fall short in this race.
Place: Elusive Kate
Being in the No. 3 post position is ideal for Elusive Kate to get off to a good start, especially with long shots Penitent and Libranno flanking her.
Thus, Elusive Kate should be able to compete well in this race, as the swift filly has had plenty of rest from competition in her second bid to shine at Royal Ascot.
In her debut last year at the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, she set the early tone and led by a length, but Excelebration simply had a ridiculously good run, exploded to the outside and blew away the field down the final few furlongs.
It was still a stellar showing from Elusive Kate, though, because she proved she could hold her own against some top-notch competition. She should face a similar level in the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday.
The only hesitation to have Elusive Kate pull the massive upset over Animal Kingdom is the innate edge the favorite has in terms of jockeying. Buick has just three wins in 23 starts, and though he rides one of the top contenders and isn't afraid to be bold, he can't be counted on to capture the trophy.
Show: Declaration Of War
Declaration Of War has had five wins in seven prior starts, and has the benefit of being trained by the impeccable Aidan O'Brien.
The prodigious son of O'Brien, 20-year-old Joseph, will be the jockey in this race, and there is no reason to count him out. It makes sense that Horse Racing Nation has him listed as the No. 2 favorite with this family tandem involved.
Joseph O'Brien has landmark past victories that include the 2,000 Guineas Stakes and the Epsom Derby aboard Camelot in 2012, and he is also the three-time reigning winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas Stakes.
It could be the mere beginning of one of the most successful jockey careers in horse racing history, and O'Brien should add another solid finish to his resume here.