Motion on Animal Kingdom: ‘I’m Not Sure What His Best Distance Is’

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In a recent video feature by Britain’s At The Races, Animal Kingdom trainer Graham Motion said he has yet to learn what the Dubai World Cup winner’s preferred distance is.

“I’m not sure what his best distance is, to be honest,” said Motion, who said he opted for the mile-long Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot over other races due to the undulating course. “He’s one the two most prestigious races possibly in the world going 1 ¼ mile … it seemed like the mile [at Ascot] would be an easier race to adjust to.”

Further, Motion believes that despite the horse’s success in the Kentucky Derby on the dirt, he moves more truly like a grass horse.

“It’s a huge challenge that we’re taking on, quite frankly,” said Motion.

In light of the recent concern about drugs in British racing, Motion was asked about Animal Kingdom’s medical history by At The Races’ Matt Chapman. Motion said that the horse has never received steroids, but will train on bute and run on Lasix in the States. Under British rules, he has the option of training on Lasix, and may choose to do so.

“I’m not overly concerned about the medication, and I think he doesn’t need medication to race on or to train on,” said Motion. “I don’t think it’s good for a horse to bleed in their morning workouts, I don’t think that’s beneficial to the horse, and I think Lasix is a good preventative … I don’t think it is as bad as the perception, but I wouldn’t encourage anyone to change the rules that are already set.”

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