Desert Crown on target for International duty

Last year’s Derby winner Desert Crown remains on course for a sizzling clash with Paddington and Mostahdaf in next week’s Juddmonte International having come through his latest gallop in good style.

The four-year-old was put through his paces by Ryan Moore, who will be on Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington on the Knavesmire, in a spin on Wednesday morning.

Desert Crown has only been seen once since his Epsom victory, when he lost his unbeaten record in finishing second to Hukum in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes in May.

He was then a late absentee from the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, with familiar adversary Hukum taking home the Ascot showpiece.

“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.”

William Buick had been announced as his jockey in the King George before he was ruled out, but he is expected to be aboard next week.

“William 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,” Raymond went on.

“It’s really shaping up into a great race. 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.

“Having spoken to Richard Hills (assistant racing manager for Shadwell, owners of Hukum), their horse had been working really, really well for a long time, so we met a very fit horse that day and he’s gone on to prove again he is a very good horse as he’s one of the favourites for the Arc.

“We’re looking forward to next week. Where else could you take a horse like that? 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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