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Ascot

  • 14:30 Queen Anne Stakes 1m

  • (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Str) £350,000 added 4yo+ 13 ran
  • Winner £198,485 2nd £75,250 3rd £37,660 4th £18,760
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 1m 38.48s
  • Off time: 14:36:09

Declaration of War took the Queen Anne Stakes

Last Updated: 19/06/13 7:59am

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Declaration Of War: Too good for his Queen Anne rivals

Declaration Of War: Too good for his Queen Anne rivals

Ballydoyle drew first blood at Royal Ascot as 15/2 chance Declaration of War took the Queen Anne Stakes, the opening event of the meeting.

Favourite Animal Kingdom, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup, was sent off the even-money favourite to land another major prize but completely failed to handle conditions and was beaten soon after halfway.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained winner had performed below expectations in Newbury's Lockinge Stakes on his previous start, but showed his true colours here.

Held up in midpack in the early stages, Joseph O'Brien had to be patient and was still only fourth passing the furlong-pole. But once he found the gap 150 yards out, Declaration Of War made rapid progress to take up the running and go away to score by three-quarters of a length.

Aljamaaheer (8/1) took second, with Gregorian (16/1) filling out the frame in third.

Elusive Kate, who had helped set to early fractions with Libranno and Penitent, finished back in fourth

"I'm still not quite sure what happened at Newbury, but this is a very good horse," said the winning rider.

Aidan O'Brien, sending out the 38th Royal Ascot winner of his career, said: "We are delighted. We thought the world of him last year. He just had an easy win first time at Leopardstown and then he went to the Lockinge.

"I left him unready and he wasn't ready for the race at the time, but he has made great progress since and has come back to what we thought and hoped he would be.

"He has a lot of speed, so Joseph waited as long as he could. He's a big powerful horse and when he asked him he put his head down and went through."

Animal Kingdom's trainer Graham Motion was gracious in defeat, but admitted that the horse had now probably run his last race before starting on a stud career.

"Johnny said he had to fight very hard and didn't find much when he asked him," said Motion.

"The ground was softer than we thought, but that is no excuse.

"This is what I always cautioned - it's such a different ball game to what he is used to.

"The draw (stall 13 of 13) made it awkward, but I'm just sorry for everyone that it didn't work out as we had hoped."

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