Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner and the first Run for the Roses champion to run at the Royal meeting since 1936, had been acclimatizing in Britain since winning the world's richest horse race, the Dubai World Cup, in March.
But the five-year-old was struggling from halfway as jockey Joseph O'Brien, son of the Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, came with a powerful late run on Declaration of War to take the opening contest of the prestigious five-day meeting.
“I don't want to offer to many excuses because he has trained perfectly for the race.”
Velazquez added: “He didn't put the effort in. It was just not him at all.”