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What dreams are made of – Dascombe heaps praise on Derby-winning rider Kingscote

Tom Dascombe paid tribute to Richard Kingscote the morning after his long-time stable jockey claimed Derby glory aboard Desert Crown.

The pair enjoyed a long and successful partnership before Kingscote decided last year to pursue increased opportunities with Sir Michael Stoute.

It is a decision which paid off spectacularly for the 35-year-old at Epsom on Saturday, as the Stoute-trained Desert Crown ran out a hugely impressive winner of the premier Classic.

Dascombe himself recently made a move south after being replaced as the salaried trainer at Michael Owen’s Manor Farm Stables in Cheshire by Hugo Palmer, and now trains out of Uplands in Lambourn.

He has continued to use Kingscote when available and was thrilled to see him prove himself on the biggest stage of all.

“It’s what dreams are made of, isn’t it? I couldn’t be happier for him. It’s just magic,” said Dascombe.

“I think Sir Michael Stoute has done exactly what he said to Richard he would do. He’s given him the opportunity when Ryan Moore isn’t available and Richard has snapped it up and proved, beyond all doubt now, what I’ve been saying about him for the last 17 years – that he’s as good as anybody.

“He’s not a big talker and he never beats himself up. I’ve been telling everyone for 17 years what a brilliant man he is and luckily for him, Sir Michael Stoute has listened.”

Kingscote was a teenage apprentice when Dascombe first called on his services and he insists he knew from an early stage he was a top-class rider in the making.

Tom Dascombe and Richard Kingscote with Brown Panther at the Curragh
Tom Dascombe and Richard Kingscote with Brown Panther at the Curragh (PA)

He added: “He’d have been about 18, I suppose, when he first start riding for me and I had no doubt that he was a top-class jockey from the very start.

“One of his first rides for me was on a horse called Gross Prophet at Newbury. If you find the video and watch it for yourself, you’ll see what an unbelievably cool head he’s got.

“He made the running that day and dropped back to fifth or sixth because all the other jockeys kicked too early. He came back and passed them all and won.”

Dascombe revealed he had a pre-race conversation with Kingscote prior to his Derby success.

He said: “I had no doubts about his temperament for yesterday. I just said to him ‘whatever you do, don’t get trapped down the inside. As long as you don’t make a mistake, you will win the Derby’.

“He gave him the perfect ride, apart from he kicked for home far too early – and I gave him a b******ing about that!

“To me he won the Derby yesterday in the first furlong. He got his horse into the position he wanted and this is why he’s such a brilliant jockey around Chester and places like that. He got his position and didn’t let anybody keep him out if it.

“I was watching the race with my dad and after the first furlong and a half I said ‘he’s won this’, because he’s made the horse get to where he wanted it to be and after that it was just a cruise.

“We’re best mates and I still consider him to be my jockey. I just couldn’t be happier for him.”

Like most jockeys Kingscote has had his fair share of ups and downs, most notably losing the ride on the Dascombe-trained Brown Panther in the 2011 St Leger at Doncaster.

Trainer Tom Dascombe
Trainer Tom Dascombe (Julian Herbert/PA)

Kingscote had steered the colt to victory at Royal Ascot earlier that year, but was replaced by Kieren Fallon in the season’s final Classic, with the pair finishing second to Masked Marvel.

Kingscote did eventually get back on board Brown Panther, however, and they recorded a further six victories together, including a runaway success in the 2014 Irish St Leger and the following year’s Dubai Gold Cup.

“Richard’s temperament got him back on Brown Panther,” said Dascombe.

“Kieren Fallon gave the horse a fantastic ride in the St Leger. I’m not saying Richard couldn’t have done that, but he didn’t have the opportunity to.

Richard Kingscote with the Derby trophy
Richard Kingscote with the Derby trophy (David Davies/PA)

“There’s a time and a place for everything. It wasn’t my decision to take him off the horse, but I had to go along with it.

“Richard didn’t lose any confidence in himself or in me by that decision being made. For the owners it was the right decision at the right time and they were big enough and man enough to realise that it’s not about one race, it’s about a hundred horses in the yard and making the right decision for every single day.”

For Kingscote it was straight back to the day job at Goodwood on Sunday and Dascombe is not expecting there to be any wild celebrations.

He quipped: “Richard is the most boring man in the world! His idea of celebrating will be to sit on his PlayStation on his sofa.”

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