Derby Winner Desert Crown On Course For Juddmonte International

Desert Crown | Getty Images

Dual Group 1 winner Desert Crown (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}), who won the Derby and King George in 2022, emerged from his Wednesday gallop in good order and is on target for the G1 Juddmonte International on Aug. 2.

“Desert Crown worked this morning, he worked nicely and everybody was happy with him,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail. “He's not a great worker, as has been stated before, but everyone was very happy with him this morning and everything went as well as expected.”

The Sir Michael Stoute trainee was due to run in the G1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth S. at Ascot, but was forced to miss the race due to a leg infection. Missing since last year's King George with an ankle injury, the 4-year-old finished second to subsequent King George hero Hukum (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in the G3 Brigadier Gerard S. on May 25.

Added Raymond of the work, “William [Buick] didn't ride him. Ryan Moore rode him this morning. He's ridden him a lot of times at home and Sir Michael just sometimes likes a different opinion.

“One thing I can definitely tell you is this horse needed it badly at Sandown, it wasn't said at the time but Michael was quite surprised how much he was blowing afterwards. He had worked on the grass but nowhere near as much as we would have liked as it kept on pouring down.

“We're looking forward to next week. He's got to go somewhere and when you are in his class, there are only certain races you can run in.”

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