He may not be a true-blue local yet but connections were celebrating 

He may not be a true-blue local yet but connections were celebrating an Australian victory nonetheless after American galloper Animal Kingdom destroyed a class field in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup (2000m) at Meydan on Sunday morning.

Owned in partnership by USA-based international racing operation Team Valour and Australia’s  Arrowfield Stud, who  purchased a majority interest in Animal Kingdom in December, the win added to the entire’s Group 1 Kentucky Derby success of 2011.

The son of Leroidesanimaux, who is expected to stand at Arrowfield for the upcoming breeding season, is trained out of the United States by the highly regarded Englishman Graham Motion and was ridden by Joel Rosario, whose decision to push forward from a wide barrier proved to be a winning move.

Rosaria allowed  Animal Kingdom to slot into a trailing position behind the leader, four-time Group 1 winner Royal Delta, with quality rivals including familiar Melbourne visitor Red Cadeaux and Marco Botti’s top-liner Planteur in arrears.

Animal Kingdom was asked for his effort on turning for home and the acceleration from the five-year-old was devastating, clearing out over the final stages for a two length win in front of the fast finishing Red Cadeaux.

Arrowfield Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer was effusive in his post-race praise of Animal Kingdom and while he was reluctant to lock in concrete plans for future starts, Freyer said Royal Ascot now provided a tantalising option for connections.

“What today did was just vindicate the ability we knew he had,” Freyer said.

“He is a superb horse without the win today but the today lets everyone in the world know that this is one of the finest racehorses on the planet.

“We’ll let the dust settle and see how he pulls up but after that we’ve got to be thinking of going to Ascot.”

It was a mixed day for some of the other runners with an Australian connection at the lucrative meeting.

A winner of the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) in the spring, former Australian sprinter Mental was well held in 10th in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen (1200m) at his second run for Godophin while another ex-Australian speedster Starspanglednbanner finished near the rear of the field in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m).

Another disappointment on the card was last year’s Sportingbet Cox Plate winner Ocean Park, who could manage only 12th in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free (1800m), behind Saeed Bin Suroor’s Sajjhaa.

Last year’s BMW Caulfield Cup winner and 2011 Melbourne Cup hero Dunaden, who is being touted as a possible Cox Plate entrant this spring, ran an encouraging fourth in the Group 1 Sheema Classic (2400m), won by Aidan O’Brien’s St Nicholas Abbey from Japanese star Gentildonna.

It was also positve news for Godolphin’s handy stayer Cavalryman, who was a dominant winner of the Group 3 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) with a second trip to Melbourne for the Emirates Melbourne Cup firmly on the radar for the well-travelled seven-year-old.