RTL Today – Horse riding: Stoute’s Desert Crown performs majestically at Derby
Desert Crown produced an imperious display to hand trainer Michael Stoute his sixth win in the Epsom Derby on Saturday, part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Stoute raised his top hat as the 5-2 favorite cleared the post under Richard Kingscote, who was in only his second Derby.
Stoute, 76, the oldest coach to win flat racing blue ribbon, had already sent Kris Kin to Derby success in 2003 for Desert Crown owner Saeed Suhail.
Stoute, born in Barbados, landed his first Derby in 1981 with the brilliant but ultimately ill-fated Shergar.
“He (Desert Crown) is a lovely athlete,” Stoute told Racing TV.
“He’s got a lot of talent and a good mind,” added Stoute, putting his finger to his head.
Desert Crown was the first favorite to win since Golden Horn in 2015.
It didn’t all go smoothly as the police had to pull out a group of female protesters on the finish straight of the big race.
Stoute’s win would have pleased the 96-year-old queen who only had to miss the Derby for the third time in her 70-year reign – the two Covid-affected races aside – as Stoute trained her horse Estimate to win the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup.
Princess Anne stepped in to represent the Queen, and she did not leave empty-handed when the racecourse presented her with a painting of the monarch’s 1977 Epsom Oaks winner Dunfermline, who came on her Golden Jubilee ‘silver.
The Kingscote race is said to have thrilled nine-time Derby-winning jockey Lester Piggott. He died last Sunday and Saturday’s race was named in his honor.
For Kingscote it was a much happier Derby day than the last time he visited Epsom and his car suffered a puncture and he had to be picked up in another motorist’s car by his wife.
“I can’t put it into words, when I was a kid I was useless,” Kingscote said.
“I had a lot of support.
“Obviously he’s got a lot of class, he jumped really well, got into position, traveled well, showed up really well.
“He has class, has given me a lot of confidence, it’s all about him and Sir Michael.”
Ashleigh, wife of the tattooed motorcycle-loving winning jockey, was not only relieved to be able to see the Derby, but thrilled for her husband.
“You hope for the best but you expect the worst,” she said.
“Like what happened with the car last time!!
“Are we going to celebrate? Knowing that Richard is probably a Red Bull!! Although we have champagne in the car.”
– ‘I’m just a scallywag’ –
Desert Crown crossed the famous finish line two-and-a-half lengths ahead 150-1 outside Hoo Ya Mal with Westover just a header at 25-1 in third.
Westover jockey Rob Hornby, instead of being ecstatic, was inconsolable as his horse finished like a train after being roughed up on the home straight.
“We came off beautifully, I was pretty happy, I had tabs on Desert Crown,” said Hornby.
“I had the gap, then it closed faster than I could enter it.
“It’s difficult because he’s done really well. It’s frustrating.”
Despite the Queen’s absence – she was due to watch TV from Windsor Castle – Epsom celebrated its Platinum Jubilee in style.
Top riders AP McCoy, Willie Carson, Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and American Steve Cauthen were among the 40 jockeys who rode for her and dressed in her silks.
They formed a guard of honor to welcome Princess Anne as she arrived by limousine at the racecourse.
“Winning the Oaks on Dunfermline in the Silver Jubilee was a fairy tale,” said Carson, 79.
Royal trainers William Haggas – son-in-law of Piggott – Nicky Henderson, John Gosden and Andrew Balding were also on parade to greet Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Tindall.
Henderson was expected to deliver a winner for the Queen that day, but in the less glamorous surroundings of Worcester Racecourse.
The whole royal jamboree left jockey Martin Dwyer – who despite a leg injury showed up for the honor guard – in awe.
“I’m just a scallywag from an HLM, I’m so honored to be here,” said Martin Dwyer.