Desert Crown wins 243rd Epsom Derby as Princess Anne steps in for the Queen

Richard Kingscote rides Desert Crown to victory in the Epsom Derby.
Epsom Downs Racecourse, England CNN  — 

Desert Crown won the 243rd Epsom Derby on Saturday as Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, stepped in for Queen Elizabeth II.

Ridden by Richard Kingscote and trained by five-time Derby winner Sir Michael Stoute, Desert Crown – the pre-race favorite – raced into the lead with two furlongs to go, eventually winning in dominant style.

A colorful fireworks display had the thousands of fans in attendance ready for a show, and Desert Crown – owned by Saeed Suhail – demonstrated why it was the favorite to claim the title by speeding to a famous victory.

Kingscote later credited Stoute’s leadership as a reason for their success.

“When I was a kid I was useless and I’ve had a lot of support from this gentleman (Stoute) here,” he told ITV Racing after the race.

Princess Anne (left) chats with winning trainer of Desert Crown, Sir Michael Stoute, jockey Richard Kingscote, and owner Saeed Suhail.

“(Desert Crown has) got a huge amount of class, we turned in going well and was so lovely. I (even) took a tug in the straight, he’s got a lot of class and gave me a lot of confidence. But it’s all about the man who trained him. He’s a lovely horse and he’s a lovely gentleman that trains him.”

Desert Crown finished clear of second-placed Hoo Ya Mal, a 150-1 outsider, with Westover finishing third.

For Stoute, it is a sixth Derby victory, 12 years after his last with Workforce in 2010.

Princess Anne was making an appearance at Epsom Downs racecourse for the 243rd edition of the famous horse race. The Queen’s daughter, who was representing her mother at the event, waved to cheering crowds from the royal box.

The previous day, Buckingham Palace had announced Queen Elizabeth II would not be attending. However, the palace said the monarch was expected to watch the event on television in Windsor Castle, as she did for her Platinum Jubilee service on Friday.

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence are pictured after their arrival at Epsom Racecourse ahead of the Epsom Derby.

Zara Tindall, Anne’s daughter, said the Queen would be watching the Derby on TV in her “comfy clothes.”

“She will be watching on the TV – she has a few runners today dotted around the country, so she knows exactly what’s going on,” said Tindall.

“She’ll just be sat on the sofa watching the TV. She’ll be in her comfy clothes.”

The Queen, a keen horse breeder herself, has been a regular spectator at the event and has even presented the famous trophy in years gone by.

The Epsom Derby is one of Saturday’s showpiece events on the third day of Platinum Jubilee celebrations to commemorate the Queen’s 70-year reign.

Later Saturday, a two-and-a-half hour “Platinum Party At The Palace” concert will see a star-studded line up take to three stages built in front of Buckingham Palace and the famous Queen Victoria Memorial.

Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys and Diana Ross are among the artists set to perform their biggest hits at the show, which will be broadcast live by the BBC.

Some 22,000 people will get to watch the concert in person, including 10,000 who won tickets through a public ballot, while 5,000 tickets were reserved for key workers.

CNN’s Max Foster contributed to reporting.