Desert Crown lands Gr.1 Derby Classic for Nathaniel


The unbeaten son of Nathaniel, Desert Crown, stormed home in the Gr.1 Cazoo Derby to land a stunning victory in the Classic by a comfortable two and a half lengths at Epsom Racecourse today.

The three-year-old colt was following up his impressive victory in the Gr.2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York in May.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute for owner Saeed Suhail, Desert Crown showed a sharp turn of foot to take the lead 2f from home and kept on well easing towards the finish for a comfortable win.

He was a sixth Derby winner for Sir Michael Stoute, who said: “Richard was very cool and he rode a beautiful race. We were very hopeful after York that Desert Crown might win the Derby. His performance delighted me as he had it won a long way out. He has got such a good mind to go with his ability. Shergar was very special and he hasn’t quite reached that stage but he has potential. I think you have to just go home and see how they take it and we will just try and get it right and see how his recovery is (as regards next target). These good horses have good acceleration and he won the Dante over a mile and a quarter so I think ten or 12 will be no problem.”

Bred by Strawberry Fields Stud, Desert Crown was purchased by Blandford Bloodstock at Tattersalls October Book 2 yearling sale for 280,000gns. Out of the mare Desert Berry (Green Desert), he is a half-brother to Gr.3 Premier Cup winner Archie McKellar (known in Hong Kong as Flying Thunder).  Desert Berry currently has a foal full-brother to Desert Crown.

Desert Crown is a new Classic and Gr.1 winner for Nathaniel, already the sire of 11-time Gr.1 and Oaks winner Enable and other Gr.1 winners Channel, Lady Bowthorpe, God Given and Mutamakina, plus 21 Gr.1/Gr.2 winners or performers on the Flat from six crops of three-year-olds.. He looks a very exciting horse to follow through the rest of the season.