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Kingscote to keep ride on Derby favourite Desert Crown

By Jon Vine
Learn about our editorial policies
25 May 2022
  • Key quotes from Sir Michael Stoute ahead of the 2022 Epsom Derby
  • This year's Derby will be run at Epsom on Saturday 4th June
  • Stoute's Dante winner Desert Crown tops the current Epsom betting
  • Read what the legendary has had to say on his runner and jockey Richard Kingscote
desert crown
Richard Kingscote after riding Desert Crown to Victory in The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York. (Getty)
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It's been 12 years since Sir Michael Stoute celebrated the last of his five Epsom Derby victory. That could be about to change on the first Saturday in July, as Stoute's contender, Desert Crown will likely go off as the short-priced favourite for that fabled Classic.

Desert Crown jumped straight to the top of the Epsom Derby betting after the Dante Stakes at York, where Richard Kingscote's mount bolted up by five lengths. Speaking to The Guardian today, Stoute seemed to be very happy with his Derby favourite, claiming he wouldn't "have to improve much to win the Derby".

“You couldn’t fault the Dante performance. He was very efficient." Stoute told the press. 

"I certainly wasn’t confident (before the Dante) as we were only just ready to go to the races, as he had a hold-up with a bruised foot."

"This fellow has a very good mind, he’s a very relaxed horse and he’s done nothing wrong on the racecourse, in fact he’s done rather well."

“When he won at Nottingham (last season), he won impressively which surprised us, so he obviously does a little more on the racecourse than he does here (at home). If you win the Dante you don’t have to improve much to win the Derby. He has still got to do it, though.”

Some have claimed there's a chance that Richard Kingscote, who has ridden Desert Crown on both of his starts, could be replaced at Epsom. Kingscote has been riding regularly for Sir Michael since ending his long-term partnership with Tom Dascombe last year, and Stoute revealed that there are no plans to usurp him from the Derby favourite's saddle.

“Richard came in and started riding work once or twice a week,” Stoute continued, “we gave him some rides and it’s continued and expanded."

“He’s a talented rider, very professional and very astute. He’s ridden him plenty of work and won twice on him and gets on well with him. My owner (Saeed Suhail) is very happy to have him on and I am, so we’ll go that route.”

Desert Crown is best priced at 9/4 to win the 2022 Epsom Derby, ahead of Aidan O'Brien's Stone Age. The full betting for this year's Derby can be found here on our website.

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