Desert Crown 'looks a million dollars' as he continues on comeback trail

Desert Crown, who has not run since winning the Derby in impressive fashion, is back in work and “looks a million dollars” following injury.

The son of Nathaniel has run just three times, including twice in his three-year-old campaign, which saw him land the Dante and the Epsom Classic. 

However, Sir Michael Stoute's star subsequently suffered an ankle injury which saw him miss the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and other big targets last term.

Saeed Suhail will keep him in training as a four-year-old, however, and the owner's racing manager, Bruce Raymond, said he is back in work at Newmarket.

"Desert Crown is in good shape," said Raymond. "He was turned out for a bit at Darley.

"He was there for about eight weeks and it did him really good.

"He came back in around mid-November and I saw him last week.

"He looks a million dollars - you'd think it was June. He has a beautiful coat, he looks great and started cantering five days before Michael got back from Barbados. He has been cantering away, although not strong cantering. Everything has been OK."

Stoute was reluctant to outline plans, stating: "It's February. I haven't made any plans and we don't want to get carried away with anything."

However, Raymond believes he will head to the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on May 25, before contesting the King George.

He added: "I would have thought he would go to the Brigadier Gerard and then the King George. It is the usual route.

"Michael won't say anything, of course. If I ask him, he will say, 'That's for you to guess and me to know!'.

"So I'm guessing he's going in that direction, but he does look well and we'll just have to see what happens."

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