Desert Crown remains in contention for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes after producing a “pleasing” piece of work under Ryan Moore at Newmarket on Wednesday morning.
The Saeed Suhail-owned 2022 Derby winner was beaten narrowly by Hukum in the Brigadier Gerard at Sandown on his return to action in May following a year on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Another minor setback prevented him from running in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and while subsequent scans proved negative, trainer Sir Michael Stoute suggested last week that he may not have enough time to line up in the all-aged showpiece at Ascot on Saturday week.
However, confidence in the camp is growing that the son of Nathaniel will take on this season’s English and Irish Derby winner Auguste Rodin, Epsom runner-up King Of Steel, last year’s King George winner Pyledriver and his Sandown conqueror Hukum in the Qipco-sponsored 12-furlong highlight after all.
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.”
Desert Crown is currently a 10-1 chance with Coral for the King George, with Auguste Rodin their 9-4 favourite.