Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Desert Crown a superb Derby winner

04-June-2022 17:11
in General
by Admin

Desert Crown looked a top-class colt in the making when trouncing his opponents in the Dante Stakes at York last month and confirmed it with an even better display in the Epsom Derby on Saturday. Given a confident ride by Richard Kingscote, Sir Michael Stoute's runner could be called the winner some way from home as he hit the front with over two furlongs to run. Pushed clear, he was good value for his two and a half lengths victory - it was a commanding performance similar to the likes of Authorized and Golden Horn in recent years. Superbly prepared by the Freemason Lodge team, it was Stoute's sixth win in Flat racing's Blue Riband - his first for twelve years. I have no doubt he will make a major impact against the older horses in the top prizes later in the year. The Irish Derby though is likely to be his next port of call, although he wouldn't look out of place in the Eclipse at Sandown next month. Having said that, Stoute may have Bay Bridge lined up for that.

Westover stayed on strongly to finish third and was unlucky not to fill the runners-up berth having met trouble in running when making his challenge. Contrary to his jockey Rob Hornby's thoughts, I suspect he wouldn't have beaten the winner but he certainly deserved to be second. The winner of the Classic Trial at Sandown in April, he stays well and looks tailormade for the St Leger at Doncaster. His trainer Ralph Beckett won the oldest Classic in 2015 with Simple Verse. He is a smart colt but doesn't possess the gears of Desert Crown.

I was hoping Walk of Stars would run well and improve from his run in the Lingfield Derby Trial. It wasn't to be though with the Godolphin owned runner struggling a long way from home. Indeed, he was one of the first beaten as he dropped through the field. Mentally, he didn't look ready for such an occasion.


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