Desert crowning victory in Dante for Nathaniel


Nathaniel’s son Desert Crown became the Cazoo Epsom Derby favourite following his impressive victory in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York today.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute for owner Saeed Suhail the three-year-old colt won by three and a quarter lengths ridden by Richard Kingscote.

Sir Michael Stoute said: “He has to have a strong chance in the Derby now (currently 2-1 favourite). He’s a beautifully balanced horse.

“I was very pleased. I was cautious because he had the hold-up and he’s only just up for a race now. Others in the race will improve too, but you would expect some improvement from him because it’s only his second start. It was a very pleasing performance because this was only race two for him and we just got him ready.

“It’s a good trial; it’s the best. His temperament isn’t a problem – he’s a very relaxed horse.”

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-brochure to Gr.3 Premier Cup winner Archie McKellar (known in Hong Kong as Flying Thunder).

Desert Crown is a new and very exciting Gr.2 winner for Nathaniel, already the sire of 11-time Gr.1 winner Enable and Gr.1 winners Channel, Lady Bowthorpe, God Given and Mutamakina, plus 21 Gr.1/Gr.2 winners or performers.