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Desert Crown strolls to Cazoo Derby favouritism after Dante demolition

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The 2022 Flat season is in full swing after the first two Classics, the 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas.

Attention now turns towards Epsom with the Cazoo Derby and Oaks next month and market movers come thick and fast as the key Classic trials continue to be run. Our Classic Clues series has you covered.

Here's a recap of the action on Thursday and how it has impacted the Classic betting.

Thursday round-up: Desert Crown new Derby favourite after dazzling in Dante

Desert Crown was promoted to clear Cazoo Derby favourite at 2-1 generally after his striking success in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained son of Nathaniel powered away from fellow 7-2 joint-favourite Royal Patronage in the closing stages to win by three and a quarter lengths under Richard Kingscote.

The way Desert Crown finished out his race so strongly on just his second start, following his impressive debut win at Nottingham last November, suggested stepping up to the 1m4f trip in the Derby should hold no fears. 

Stoute recorded his seventh victory in the Dante, a race he has used as a stepping stone for three of his Derby winners.

Immediately after the race, Desert Crown was cut to 3-1 (from 9) for the Derby by Betfair Sportsbook, but that price did not last long before he was shortened again to 2-1. 

Ladbrokes and Coral go a standout 9-4 about Desert Crown providing Stoute with his sixth Derby victory on June 4. 

Before the race, Coral shortened Stone Age's price to 2-1 (from 5-2) following strong support, but after Desert Crown's dazzling display, the Leopardstown Derby Trial winner was back out to 11-4.

Dante second Royal Patronage took a step forward after finishing eighth in the 2,000 Guineas and was cut to 25-1 (from 33) for Epsom.

On the Oaks front, Tom Clover signalled his intention to supplement Lingfield Oaks Trial winner Rogue Millennium for Epsom at a cost of £30,000.

Not put off after Musidora winner Emily Upjohn was cut to 5-4 favourite for Oaks the day before, Clover said he is relishing the challenge with Rogue Millennium, who is a 14-1 chance with William Hill for the Oaks. 

What they say

Sir Michael Stoute, trainer of Desert Crown

"I was very pleased. I was cautious because he had the hold-up and he's only just up for a race now. Others in the race will improve too, but you would expect some improvement from him because it's only his second start. It was a very pleasing performance because this was only race two for him and we just got him ready.

"It's a good trial; it's the best. His temperament isn't a problem – he's a very relaxed horse."

Market mover

Cazoo Oaks
Emily Upjohn 5-4 (from 6-4, Betfair Sportsbook)

Cazoo Derby
Desert Crown 2-1 (from 9, Betfair Sportsbook); Royal Patronage 25-1 (from 33, Coral)

How the markets look

Cazoo Oaks (4.30 Epsom, June 3)

William Hill: 11-8 Emily Upjohn, 7-2 Tuesday, 8 Concert Hall, Agave, 9 With The Moonlight, 12 Nashwa, Tranquil Lady, 14 Above The Curve, Rogue Millennium (needs to be supplemented), 16 Thoughts Of June, Life Of Dreams, History, Magical Lagoon, 25 bar

Cazoo Derby (4.30 Epsom, June 4)

bet365: 2 Desert Crown, 3 Stone Age, 7 Changingoftheguard, 10 Piz Badile, 14 United Nations, Star Of India, 16 Walk Of Stars, 20 Pont Lonsdale, Eydon, Westover, Royal Patronage, Nahanni, 25 bar

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