Sir Michael Stoute said on Tuesday that he is “very happy” to maintain the association between Richard Kingscote and Desert Crown, the 9-4 favourite for the Derby on 4 June, despite the rider’s relative lack of experience in the Epsom Classic.
Kingscote forged a link with the Stoute stable in the early months of the 2021 Flat season, having left his job as stable jockey with Tom Dascombe after 15 years in the role. He rode Desert Crown to win a maiden event at Nottingham in November before steering the colt to an impressive success in the Dante Stakes at York this month.
He has ridden only once before in the premier Classic, however, finishing 11th of 12 runners in 2018 on Knight To Behold, a 14-1 chance.
“Richard came in and started riding work once or twice a week,” Stoute said on Tuesday, “and we gave him some rides and it’s continued and expanded.
“He’s a talented rider, very professional and very astute. He’s ridden him plenty of work and won twice on him and gets on well with him. My owner [Saeed Suhail] is very happy to have him on and I am, so we’ll go that route.”
The 35-year gap between Mathew Dawson’s Derby wins with Thormanby (1860) and Sir Visto (1895) is currently the longest in the Classic’s history, but Stoute will set a new mark if Desert Crown wins at Epsom next month, 41 years after he saddled the brilliant Shergar for his record 10-length success in 1981.
“They’re all different,” Stoute said, “but this fellow has a very good mind, he’s a very relaxed horse and he’s done nothing wrong on the racecourse, in fact he’s done rather well.
Newton Abbot 1.30 Gentle Connections 2.00 From The Heart 2.30 Glengeever 3.00 Arizona Glory 3.30 Guernesey 4.00 Adrien Du Pont 4.32 Professor Calculus
Beverley 1.40 Stanley Snugfit 2.10 Waverley Star 2.40 Stolen Glory 3.10 Saisons D’Or 3.40 Space Tracker 4.15 Crown Princess (nb) 4.48 Bit Of A Quirke 5.20 Otto Oyl
Hamilton Park 1.50 Rory 2.20 Rock Opera 2.50 Nearly A Gonna (nap) 3.20 The New Marwan 3.50 We Still Believe 4.25 Shine On Brendan 4.55 Hoi An Beach
Warwick 5.00 Good News 5.35 Rhebus Road 6.05 Leylak 6.35 Sail Away 7.05 Eva’s Diva 7.35 Churchtown Glen 8.10 Undoubtedly
Ripon 5.25 Betweenthesticks 5.55 Henery Hawk 6.25 Burj Malinka 6.55 Tamarama 7.25 Captain Kane 8.00 Banned 8.30 Peachey Carnehan
“You couldn’t fault the Dante performance, he was very efficient. I certainly wasn’t confident [before the Dante] as we were only just ready to go to the races, as he had a hold-up with a bruised foot.
“When he won at Nottingham [last year], he won impressively which surprised us, so he obviously does a little more on the racecourse than he does here [at Stoute’s yard in Newmarket]. If you win the Dante you don’t have to improve much to win the Derby. He has still got to do it, though.”