Dubai businessman Saeed Suhail wins second Epsom Derby with Desert Crown

Trainer Michael Stoute notches his sixth win



Desert Crown, ridden by Richard Kingscote, wins the Epsom Derby on Saturday. — Reuters
Desert Crown, ridden by Richard Kingscote, wins the Epsom Derby on Saturday. — Reuters

By Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Sat 4 Jun 2022, 7:59 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Jun 2022, 12:06 AM

The myth that lightning does not strike twice in the same place was dispelled emphatically as Dubai businessman Saeed Suhail won a second Epsom Derby on Saturday when Desert Crown stormed him a dominant winner of the three-century-old race.

Making only his second appearance in the 2,400 metre contest, which was first run in 1780, Richard Kingscote delivered a textbook performance aboard the Sir Michael Stoute-trained favourite to secure a cozy a two and a half-length victory over rank outsider Hoo Ya Mal (150-1) and David Probert. Westover, the mount of Rob Hornby, was a head, back in third.

Desert Crown was gifting Saeed Suhail a second victory In the race after Krish Kin in 2003. The winner brought up a sixth Epsom Derby triumph for Sir Michael Stoute and the first since Workforce won the mile and a half contest in 2010.

Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal (left), and winning owner of Desert Crown, Saeed Suhail at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Saturday. — AFP
Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal (left), and winning owner of Desert Crown, Saeed Suhail at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Saturday. — AFP

The Derby, which was this year in the memory of Sir Lester Piggott, who passed away on May 31, came 41 years after Stoute posted his most famous victory with the legendary Shergar (1981).

Putting his landmark victory into context, Kingscote told ITV Racing: “It’s surreal, When I was a kid I was useless [as a jockey] but I’ve had a lot of support from this gentleman [Michael Stoute] here.

“Desert Crown has got a huge amount of class. We turned in going well. He’s got a lot of class and he gave me a lot of confidence. It’s all about him and Sir Michael. He’s a lovely horse and it’s a lovely gentleman who trains him. It’s a good day.”

A winner of the Dante Stakes at York Desert Crown strode clear with purpose once Kingscote committed for home at the two-furlong marker. And in a matter of strides, he put the race to bed. Nahanni, ridden by 2021 Epsom Derby-winning jockey Adam Kirby, finished best of the Charlie Appleby-trained trio when finishing seven.

Nations Pride, supplemented into the race at a fee of £75,000, ran on for third with William Buick, while Appleby’s third runner, Walk Of Stars brought up the back of the 17-horse field.Desert Crown won the Dante Stakes at York on his previous start, a route his trainer has used with subsequent Derby winners in the past.

The Derby is Britain’s richest flat race and the most prestigious of the five Classics together with the 2,000 and 1000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger.


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