Desert Crown to return for a four-year-old campaign

Derby winner Desert Crown will be ready for a four-year-old campaign next year, once he has fully recovered from an ankle injury.

The son of Nathaniel was unbeaten in three starts following his impressive win at Epsom, where he became the second Saeed Suhail-owned colt trained by Sir Michael Stoute to prevail in the Derby following Kris Kin's success in 2003.

Stoute has been keen to give the unbeaten colt plenty of time after he missed the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes with a minor ankle injury.

Bruce Raymond, Suhail's racing manager, said he will not be back this season but a four-year-old campaign is still on the cards.

"I took the owner to see him last week," said Raymond. "He is turned out daily at Darley (Stud in Newmarket) - I live just across the road.

"We took some nice photographs with the owner patting him in the paddock.

"He goes out for maybe three hours a day and Michael came to see him. He said that while the weather is good, let him eat grass. 'I'm not going to do anything with him, just let him eat grass' he said."

Of the long injury lay-off, Raymond added: "It was very minor and a lesser trainer would have run him.

"It's not the way Michael does things. He doesn't want to rush him back."

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