Kingscote to Ride Desert Crown in Cazoo Derby


Sir Michael Stoute | Emma Berry

Saeed Suhail's 'TDN Rising Star' Desert Crown (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}), who won the G2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante S. at York on May 12, will continue his association with jockey Richard Kingscote in the G1 Cazoo Derby on June 4, according to trainer Sir Michael Stoute. A Nottingham maiden winner in November, the colt delivered a 3 1/4-length victory in the Dante and would become the sixth winner of the Blue Riband for the veteran trainer if he captured the 1 1/2-mile contest.

“He has ridden him plenty of work and won twice on him and he gets on well with him, so we will go down that route,” said Stoute of the reasoning behind the decision. “The owner is happy to have him on and so am I, so we will go down that route.

“It doesn't feel strange [that Ryan Moore] is not on board as he has been doing it for years. He has been riding horses for Aidan [O'Brien] in important races for a long time.”

Desert Crown has turned in one six-furlong work since his Dante triumph, and the colt is pleasing Stoute and his team less than two weeks from the big day.

Added, Stoute, “He was a good-looking horse with a good temperament, but we had to learn something about him on the racecourse and it was a positive.

“He had just one piece of work since the Dante. It was just a loosen-up really. He went six furlongs quite comfortably. He is workmanlike and not spectacular at home.

“He wouldn't have to come on too much but it was a good performance that puts him in the reckoning. He did surprise me [at York].

“If you win the Dante you don't have to improve much to win The Derby. He has still got to do it though. He is a nice athlete and has a lovely temperament. All good horses are important and it is nice to have them and it has given the yard a great lift.”

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