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Desert Hero
  1. Horse Racing
  2. Royal Ascot

Desert Hero Horse – Age, rating, trainer, owner, race record and form

A Royal Ascot winner as a three-year-old in 2023, Desert Hero remains lightly-raced and likely capable of better for his illustrious connections. 

Royal Ascot

Desert Hero Owner

Bred by the late Queen Elizabeth II, Desert Hero is now owned by King Charles III and Queen Camilla. 

The four-year-old was sired by Epsom Derby winner Sea The Stars and he was foaled on the 29th of January 2020. He was formerly owned by Queen Elizabeth II until her death in 2022.

Desert Hero Trainer

Desert Hero is trained by William Haggas at his yard based at Somerville Lodge stables in Newmarket, Suffolk. 

The son-in-law of legendary champion jockey Lester Piggott, Haggas trained his first winner in 1987 and he has trained two Classic winners – Shaamit, who won the 1996 Derby, and 2011 Oaks winner Dancing Rain.

Added to the roster of Royal trainers in 2013, he sent out his first winner for Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor on the 12th May, 2014 when Purple Spectrum justified favouritism in a 1m2f maiden in the hands of Ryan Moore. 

Haggas has a strong affinity with the Royal family and, along with his wife Maureen, was invited to ride in the King's procession at Royal Ascot 2023.

Desert Hero Age

Desert Hero is four-years-old.

Desert Hero Rating

Desert Hero has an official rating of 113 and has recorded a peak Racing Post Rating of 116.

Desert Hero Record

Desert Hero made his debut in a 7f Haydock novice in June 2022. Backed into 4/1 before the off from bigger prices, he won the race in style in the hands of Tom Marquand. On his next start, he finished third in the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown.

Eased back into novice company over 1m1f at Redcar next time out, he was sent off the 1/7 favourite and won with authority under Cieren Fallon. Handicaps beckoned next on his reappearance in 2023 for Desert Hero, who disappointed in the London Gold Cup at Newbury. 

However, he made up for it when winning the King George V Stakes under an incredible Marquand ride, giving King Charles his first Royal Ascot winner since he became king.

The Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood was next on the agenda for Desert Hero, a race that he won, before going on to finish a gallant third in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster behind Aidan O'Brien's Continuous to round off his year.

Desert Hero's first start in 2024 was in the 1m2f bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown, where he finished second to Okeechobee. 

Sent off a warm order for the Group 3 Aston Park Stakes at Newbury in May, he ran very keen and disappointed, but it was likely a prep run before his tilt at the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot 2024.

Desert Hero Prize Money 

Desert Hero has won a total of £282,048 in win and place prize-money in his career to date.

Desert Hero News

Royal Ascot 2024 has always been the main target for Desert Hero for obvious reasons. King Charles and Queen Camilla would love nothing more than another winner at Flat racing's biggest festival.

Gelded over the winter, Haggas has admitted to being in no rush with his preparation when interviewed by the Racing Post in early April: "We're in no rush with Desert Hero and I think our first major target is the Hardwicke with a run or two before," said Haggas. 

"He's not started galloping yet and we'll play it by ear, but he's done very well and there are plenty of mile-and-a-half-plus races in May. A lot will depend on how quickly he comes to hand.

"We discussed gelding him and decided to do it. We thought it might do him good so we took a chance and we feel, on what we can see, that it's been a good thing for him and it will obviously mean that his career is about running in races. He's a lovely, good-staying horse to have."

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