Nigel Blackiston is a big fan of the Desert King breed and that’s not surprising with the likes of Desert Jeuney in his Flemington stable.

A candidate for spring spoils, Desert Jeuney was Group 3 placed in Sydney during the autumn carnival and he returned to work this week.

Meanwhile, Blackiston unveiled another promising Desert King on Wednesday when Amortise won the Vale Kevin Mitchell Plate (1800m) second-up at Sandown.  Settling back in the field from an outside gate, he appreciated the step up in distance after a debut sixth over 1400m at Bendigo on May 22.

“He’s got a lot to learn but he’s going in the right direction,” Blackiston said after the soft three length victory.  “He is still got to grow into himself but I think he has a bit of a future.”

Amortise (3g Desert King — Princess Haze by Shifnal Prince) is a homebred for part-owners Verena and Chris Merry and is the final foal of pensioned mare Princess Haze.

Cranbourne trainer Michael Kent is another Desert King fan.  He has five-time winner Darlimurla Star kicking off another campaign at Moonee Valley on Saturday while stablemate Gala Princess has been entered for Mornington’s public holiday meeting on Monday.

Desert King has sired 6 Group 1 winners — no other stallion standing in Victoria has sired more elite level winners.  He has been thriving at Lauriston Park and his fertility last spring was that strong he managed to get Northwood Plume in foal.  The triple Group 1 winner had missed at three of her four previous years at stud.

Desert King (Danehill) is still a force in Europe even though he has been stationed permanently  in Victoria since 2009.  Last month, he sired the stakes winners Noble Mission (G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh) and Joyeuse (LR Cecil Frail Stakes at Haydock).

Lauriston Park will stand Desert King at Creighton’s Creek, just outside Euroa, for a $6,600 ( inc gst ) fee this year.  For further information contact Julie Nairn (0402 901 910) or Chris Bakker (0427 903 353).

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