Derby Hero Desert Crown Returns To Cantering

Saeed Suhail’s G1 Derby victor Desert Crown (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}), missing since a minor ankle injury derailed his season after Epsom, is pleasing connections after being returned to light training a few days ago.

“Desert Crown is in good shape,” said owner Saeeed Suhail’s racing manager Bruce Raymond. “He was turned out for a bit at Darley. He was there for about eight weeks and it did him really good.

“He came back in around mid-November and I saw him last week. He looks a million dollars–you’d think it was June. He has a beautiful coat, he looks great and started cantering five days before Michael got back from Barbados. He has been cantering away, although not strong cantering. Everything has been OK.”

A winner of a maiden on debut at Nottingham as a juvenile, the bay returned to take the G2 Dante S. at York last May by 3 1/4 lengths prior to his Classic heroics. The G3 Brigadier Gerard S. near the end of May, as well as the G1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth S. are likely targets for the 4-year-old.

He added, “I would have thought he would go to the Brigadier Gerard and then the King George. It is the usual route.

“Michael won’t say anything, of course. If I ask him, he will say, ‘That’s for you to guess and me to know!’. So I’m guessing he’s going in that direction, but he does look well and we’ll just have to see what happens.”

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute would indeed not be drawn on future plans, and said, “It’s February. I haven’t made any plans and we don’t want to get carried away with anything.”

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