‘I was useless as a kid – today is a great day’: first Derby victory for British jockey and a poignant win for the trainer

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  • Desert Crown provided 33-year-old British jockey Richard Kingscote with his first Epsom Derby victory this afternoon (4 June).

    Trained by Newmarket-based Sir Michael Stoute and owned by Saeed Suhail, the 5/2 favourite Desert Crown never looked like he was going to lose and ultimately won comfortably by two-and-a-half lengths.

    “I can’t put it into words. When I was a kid, I was useless, but I’ve had a lot of support and thanks to Sir Michael and this horse, this has happened,” Richard said of his Epsom Derby result after the race. “Desert Crown has a huge amount of class – he jumped off well, travelled great, turned in really well and it all just went lovely. I took a pull in the straight as we were travelling so well.

    “He is a lovely horse and it is a lovely gentleman who trains him – it’s a great day.”

    This was a sixth Derby winner for Sir Michael Stoute, but it has been 12 years since his last victory in the British Classic, sponsored by Cazoo in 2022. It was a second Derby ride for Richard and his first ever ride was at Epsom Racecourse in 2004.

    The crowd offered up three cheers to Sir Michael Stoute at the prize giving. He lost his partner Coral Pritchard-Gordon in August 2020 when she was 73 after a long illness, making this victory all the more poignant.

    Outsider and 150/1 shot Hoo Ya Mal finished second under David Probert for trainer Andrew Balding and owner Ahmad Al Shaikh.

    The possible hard luck story of the race was Westover, who finished third and just a head behind Hoo Ya Mal. The 25/1 shot was ridden by Rob Hornby, trained by Ralph Beckett and owned by Juddmonte.

    “He settled beautifully for me and I was quite happy where I was at the top of the hill,” Rob said after the race. “Then I had the gap at the road but it closed faster than I could get into it. It’s frustrating as he’s a high class horse and he’s run well – I think I’d have given the winner a run for his money if I could have got into the gap.”

    Epsom Derby 2022 result: winner’s breeding

    Desert Crown is out of the Green Desert mare Desert Berry and by Nathaniel, whose progeny include the prolific Enable.

    Prior to his victory at Epsom today, the three-year-old colt had a 100% strike rate, winning on his debut at Nottingham in November, his sole start as a two-year-old, and impressing in a stylish Dante victory at York in May.

    Read the full report from the Derby meeting in the 9 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

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