Stoute received telephone call from the Queen after winning the Derby

A congratulatory telephone call from the Queen helped cement a memorable day for Sir Michael Stoute at Epsom on Saturday.

The Newmarket trainer landed his sixth Derby victory following a magnificent performance from the unbeaten Desert Crown, and although Her Majesty was absent from the meeting she made sure to pass on her feelings to Stoute, who has trained many big winners in the royal silks.

“Yes, I spoke to the Queen late afternoon. She was very pleased for the team,” said Stoute on Monday.

Former cricketer Michael Holding is a close friend and was another to get in touch with Stoute, for whom it was a poignant success after the death of his long-term partner, Coral Pritchard-Gordon, in 2020.

“I’ve not spoken to Michael, but I think he rang my daughter and there was a piece in the paper where he had a lot to say. I will catch up with him very soon.

“I think a lot of people were also thinking that Coral wasn’t there. A lot of us missed her not being there.”

Desert Crown was brilliant in winning the Derby
Desert Crown was brilliant in winning the Derby (David Davies/PA)

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Stoute – who first won the Derby in 1981 with Shergar – is in no rush to make plans for his Saeed Suhail-owned winner.

“The last 48 hours have been a bit hectic, but very enjoyable as well. He has only just run. He just had a nice long walk this morning and we will determine in the week how he has bounced out of it,” he said.

“You don’t get too excited – if you have been in this game as long as I have you keep calm!”

He added: “He has been there and done that (10 furlongs) in the Dante so that is not a problem, 10-furlong pace, but we won’t be deciding in a hurry (which route to go) we will just take our time.

“They are all individuals, they are all different really they truly are. I wouldn’t make comparisons with any other the Derby winners at this stage but he has just a brimful of promise. His three racecourse appearances have all been very impressive.

“It is just under 48 hours (since he won) so we are not thinking of the next start yet. We are going to have a good look at him and get him cantering and observe him.

“It is nice to win them (Irish Derby and King George), but I don’t know what route he would be going. I’ve no intention of making a plan two days after the race.”

In paying tribute to his staff, Stoute, whose return to the big time was welcomed by many who remember the great horses that have passed through his care, said: “We have a really experienced, dedicated team here. It is not just me there are many other links involved. They have all felt good including this one.

“Saturday evening about eight or 10 people crept into the house and drank a lot of my wine!

“We’ve got one or two very good individuals, but we are not brimming with talent. We just operate from the one yard now. We are grateful for what we have got and we will do the best we can with them.”

Stoute, 76, is the oldest known trainer to have enjoyed Derby success.

“Some mornings you are bouncier than others, it depends what has happened the day before,” he said.

“It doesn’t do you any harm winning a race like this and it is great for morale all the way round.

“There always has been a good team spirit here and if you don’t have that you are not going to be successful. It is all about the team and the team work.”

Richard Kingsote with Sir Michael Stoute
Richard Kingsote with Sir Michael Stoute (David Davies/PA)

Stoute also praised winning jockey Richard Kingscote – who gave the Nathaniel colt a textbook ride on just his second appearance in the Cazoo-sponsored showpiece.

He said: “He is a thorough professional and we knew that. I had full confidence in him. He couldn’t have been calmer or done a better job.

“Ryan (Moore) has first choice on the horses here, but Richard has been a great part of the team recently and they have a good rapport to which helps. They discuss the horses which is good.

“I can’t remember exactly how we hit it off, but he is a very calm professional fellow. We’ve never had a problem, put it that way.”

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