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Both Classic Winners Have Relatives In SA

Following a busy weekend of Classic action at Epsom and Chantilly, Adam Houghton of The Sporting Life gave this assessment of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Epsom Derby winner Desert Crown (Nathaniel).

Desert Crown (129p)

Desert Crown maintained his unbeaten record with a smooth win in Saturday’s Cazoo Derby at Epsom, fully confirming the promise of his victory in the Dante at York three weeks earlier.

The most impressive aspect of his performance was the change of gear he showed to gain a decisive advantage inside the final two furlongs, ultimately winning by two and a half lengths and looking value for extra after being eased late on.

With a Timeform rating of 129p, Desert Crown is already bordering on top class after just three starts, promising to have more to offer as well when the situation demands it.

The Arc appeals as an obvious end-of-season target and, in the meantime, a potential clash with the highest-rated older horse in training, Baaeed (134), in a race such as the Juddmonte International is something to savour.

The Epsom Oaks on Friday was won by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Tuesday (Galileo) from the unlucky Emily Upjohn.

Tuesday’s grandam is the Darshaan mare Hoity Toity, who is a half-sister to English-bred mare Elisium (Proclamation) who stands at Eugene Freeman’s Boland Stud in SA.

Desert Crown has the SA sire Byword, who stood at Middlefield Stud and Mauritzfontein Stud, in his family (see below).

Picture: Richard Kingscote and Desert Crown leave the field in their wake. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty