Desert Crown Eyed At Superstar King George Clash

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Desert Crown

2022 Epsom Derby winner Desert Crown is being leaned towards the King George at Ascot before the end of the month having impressed trainer Sir Michael Stoute in a workout on Wednesday.

The four year old son of Nathaniel was a 280,000gns purchase as a yearling and has been seen twice to date, winning both events emphatically.

Running once last season as a juvenile over 8.5f at Nottingham in November, the colt went on to beat a smart field by close to six lengths.

Saved for his three year old season and said to be only 80% fit for his first outing in the Group Two Dante Stakes at York, he went on to rout a good field by nearly four lengths.

The performance was extremely taking and he went on to improve again when last seen readily pulling away from the field to land the Group One Epsom Derby by 2 1/2 lengths.

He was off since that with a setback but with Sir Michael Stoute being very patient with him, he returned this season at Sandown in the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes and looking the winner in the final furlong he was outstayed late on by the more experienced Hukum.

Again picking up a small setback since, Stoute has been working him back up slowly but after a nice piece of work on Wednesday morning it now looks as though he will return at Ascot before the end of the month in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

(Credit ATR) The owner’s racing manager, Bruce Raymond, said: “He worked this morning and Ryan rode him.“Michael was very pleased with him and I think there is a good chance he will go to Ascot.

“He worked nicely. It was a pleasing gallop. I can’t say he is certain for the race, but everyone was very happy with him. There’s a good chance he will go to Ascot.”