Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes and Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe are likely targets for Epsom Derby winner Desert Crown who is set to return at Sandown Park next month.
Desert Crown has won all of his three starts; winning a maiden race at Nottingham at his sole start as a two-year-old before easily winning the Group 2 Dante Stakes. He then justified heavy market support to go off favourite for the Cazoo Derby which he won by two and a half lengths.
Desert Crown – a son of Coral-Eclipse and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Nathaniel – has not raced since comfortably winning at Epsom last June. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has penciled in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown Park on the evening of May 25 as his likely comeback race.
“We’re getting him back, he’s in strong work now and we’re looking forward to seeing how he progresses, but so far things have gone very smoothly,” said Stoute whose 12 wins in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes include last year’s winner, Bay Bridge, who went on to win the Qipco Champion Stakes.
“Desert Crown has done all his foundation work and went into strong work yesterday.
“I think we are (on target for the Brigadier Gerard). All is going well now – the athlete is back in strong work.”
The Newmarket trainer revealed that Bay Bridge is also likely to return in May.
“He (Bay Bridge) is in good shape and will either go to Sandown (Gordon Richards Stakes) or to France (Prix Ganay),” Stoute added.
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