Hukum denies Desert Crown in tremendous Brigadier Gerard battle

Horse Racing

Returning Derby hero foiled by also long-absent Coronation Cup winner.

Hukum overcame his own lengthy absence to deny last year’s Derby winner Desert Crown in the Racehorse Lotto Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.

Trained by Owen Burrows, Hukum is now six and his career looked over after he picked up what looked a career-ending injury in winning the Coronation Cup 12 months ago.

The decision was taken to keep him in training and that now looks inspired, as Jim Crowley – who briefly looked boxed in – got Hukum flying late on to win by half a length in an enthralling battle up the Sandown hill.

Desert Crown had been kept off the track by his own injury – for 355 days to Hukum’s 356 – after his famous Epsom success on what was just his third ever outing.

Following his tried and tested route with his top-class older horses, Sir Michael Stoute was looking for a 12th win in the race and connections were happy going into the Group Three feature.

Settled in fifth by Richard Kingscote as stablemate and pacemaker Solid Stone led at a steady gallop, he was set something of a test but breezed into the lead a furlong out only to be reeled in late on by the 5-1 winner.

While Stoute will no doubt be left scratching his head his former assistant Burrows will be dreaming of a big summer.

Betfair cut Hukum to 14-1 from 25s for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Desert Crown now the same price from 8s.

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