Cazoo Derby: Desert Crown’s winning rider Richard Kingscote happy to stand out from the weighing room crowd

Derby-winning rider Richard Kingscote is happy to stand out from his weighing room colleagues and accepts he is “not everyone’s cup of tea”.

Desert Crown provided Kingscote with his first Classic success as Sir Michael Stoute’s pre-race favourite dominated the race and ran out a hugely impressive victor at Epsom.

It marked the highlight of a remarkable rise for the jockey, who was riding in just his second Derby, having made a surprise exit from Tom Dascombe last summer, when the trainer was based at Michael Owen’s powerful Manor House Stables.

Speaking in the immediate aftermath of Desert Crown’s triumph, the 35-year-old played down his achievements to date, which include over 1,300 winners, saying: “I’m not a champion jockey… I’ve not had a starlet career”.

Reflecting further to Sky Sports on the Racing Debate, Kingscote explained: “It’s not that I don’t think I’m good enough because otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it, but I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. That’s fine, no problem.

“Myself and David Probert came along as the same time as [William] Buick, [James] Doyle and Adam Kirby so our careers have taken a little bit more time to take off.”

Desert Crown and Kingscote win the 2022 Cazoo Derby, beating Hoo Ya Mal

Asked how he celebrated Derby success, Kingscote said: “If I wasn’t so tired I’d have played the Playstation last night!

“I’m not dull but I’m not normal for someone in racing. In the real world I’m a normal chap but I don’t live in the real world.

“The lads think I’m nuts for riding a motorbike. I am who I am and that’s that!”

Kingscote had stayed notably quiet in the build-up to the Epsom Classic, despite the team’s obvious confidence in their Dante winner.

“I was confident in the horse without wanting to get over excited or get my hopes up. There was a real buzz. I didn’t want to say anything before the race because I didn’t put any extra pressure on.

“You build it up and think that to win those races you have to do something spectacular but in reality when the horse is good enough it’s smooth.

“He jumped great and got in a good pitch, took a little while to get in but once we were I was amazed with how well he came down the hill.

“I probably put him into gear a bit early but he was alert and much more relaxed.”

Irish Derby next for luckless Westover

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Trainer Ralph Beckett thinks Derby third Westover could have made things tougher for winner Desert Crown had he found a clearer route through and it is now all roads to the Irish Derby.

While Desert Crown enjoyed a simple passage through the race, further back in the field Ralph Beckett’s Westover had met with traffic before flying home for third.

Asked if he felt Westover might have won the race with a clearer run, Kingscote said: “That’s not for me to judge. I was very pleased with my horse and he did everything perfectly.”

Pressed on if that was a no, Kingscote added: “That’s a no.”

Beckett told Sky Sports Racing he felt Westover might have got closer to Desert Crown, but believing he would have won is a “leap of faith”.

Rob Hornby and Westover just hold off the late rallying Cash at Sandown
Rob Hornby and Westover just hold off the late rallying Cash at Sandown in the Classic Trial

“I think second perhaps got away,” Beckett said. “I like to think he would’ve bustled up the winner certainly and made him work harder for it.

“Up until 10.30am on Thursday I thought we had got everything right. The draw was definitely a negative statistically. With a better draw he wouldn’t have got stuck on the fence.”

Westover’s impressive finishing speed has seen him cut to 5/2 favourite for the Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 25, which Beckett confirmed the team are now targetting.

“The Irish Derby is the obvious race for him,” Beckett said. “He was kicking the door down when he was fed so I would imagine he’ll go to the Curragh in three weeks’ time.

“We’ll concentrate on the Curragh and then work out what to do after that. We’ll put him in the King George but let’s see how we go.”

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