Kingdom confirmed for Queen Anne

Hot favourite Animal Kingdom will face a maximum of 14 rivals in Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes, the opening event of Royal Ascot.

Kingdom confirmed for Queen Anne

Graham Motion’s American raider has been all the rage for the mile heat following his impressive victory in the 10-furlong Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March.

The five-year-old also won the 2011 Kentucky Derby and will be dropping back to eight furlongs for the first time since finishing second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Aidan O’Brien’s Declaration Of War is next in the betting, despite his flop in the Lockinge Stakes on his return at Newbury last month.

The master of Ballydoyle also has Reply – who runs at Leopardstown on Thursday - and Windsor Palace in the line-up, while John Gosden is another with two to choose from, with Elusive Kate and Gregorian still in the mix.

Richard Hannon could saddle Libranno and Trumpet Major, with David Simcock’s Trade Storm a possible to reappear after a fine winter campaign in Dubai.

Lockinge second and third Sovereign Debt and Aljamaaheer, trained by Michael Bell and Roger Varian respectively, could clash again along with Newbury fourth Chil The Kite, who represents Hughie Morrison.

Penitent was seventh that day and could try his luck again for David O’Meara, with Gabrial and Monsieur Chevalier completing the possible runners.

South African runner Shea Shea tops a cosmopolitan field of 21 horses left in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes.

Mike de Kock’s charge landed the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai on his latest start and is a fascinating international contender along with Australian runner Shamexpress.

Danny O’Brien’s raider recently won the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington, a race fellow antipodean runner Miss Andretti won before claiming the 2007 King’s Stand.

Home hopes are headed by Clive Cox’s Reckless Abandon, who won both the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes last term and finished third in the Temple Stakes on his reappearance.

Prohibit won the race for Robert Cowell two years ago and he could try to regain his title despite being beaten in France on Tuesday. Cowell also has Spirit Quartz in the reckoning along with Temple hero Kingsgate Native.

Swiss Spirit, Mince and Pearl Secret are all towards the head of the market but Aidan O’Brien has taken his possibles, including the well-fancied Cristoforo Colombo, out of the race.

Edward Lynam’s Sole Power finished fourth in both the Temple and the Al Quoz Sprint and he is the only Irish-trained hope.

Connections of Educate are delighted to have secured the services of Jamie Spencer for next week’s Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot.

The Ismail Mohammed-trained four-year-old has been beaten just once in his last five starts, when he was reportedly under the weather at Newbury in April.

He had previously landed the Spring Mile at Doncaster on his seasonal reappearance and has since regained the winning thread at Lingfield, beating Sheikhzayedroad, last month.

That one has since gone on to claim a win at Epsom on Derby Day, prompting the handicapper to put Educate up by 2lb, although he will run off his original mark next week.

“Jamie Spencer will definitely ride him. Chapter Seven isn’t going to run so he (Spencer) will be available which is great news for us,” said Terry Norman, race-planner for the Newmarket-based Mohammed. “The ground won’t be a problem for him as he’s won on all surfaces, the main thing for us was to get Jamie on board as he is a proper Spencer ride.

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