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Horse Racing

Bookies terrified as massive Royal Ascot as gamble builds on ‘bombproof’ horse

Royal Ascot is just around the corner and Desert Crown already has bookies running for cover.

Last year’s Derby winner produced a jaw-dropping piece of work on the Newmarket gallops and has halved in price for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes as a result.

Desert Crown has been all the rage in the betting

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Desert Crown dazzled in the 2022 Derby on just his third racecourse start.

Injury prevented him from running again but he returned with a very promising second to the smart Hukum at Sandown last month.

Although a 2-5 defeat is disappointing on paper, he’s clearly come on leaps and bounds since.

Stoute previously called him “bombproof” when speaking to Daily Thoroughbred News and punters clearly agree after that aforementioned gallop under Ryan Moore.

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: “Punters have obviously heard how well Desert Crown worked in Newmarket this morning.

“We had to cut him for Royal Ascot given Sir Michael Stoute’s past record at the meeting, particularly in top-class races.

“We might be seeing the start of a significant Royal Ascot gamble as we have seen a lot of cash for Desert Crown today and cut him twice already.”

Stoute currently holds the record for the most Royal Ascot wins at 82, but Aidan O’Brien is just one win behind on 81.

His 2023 arsenal is further bolstered by Infinite Cosmos, who is a general 7-2 favourite for the Ribblesdale Stakes.

She was an impressive winner on reappearance at Newmarket and was only four lengths behind Soul Sister in the Dante when last seen.

That rival has subsequently gone on to win the Oaks, giving the form a huge boost.