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31-05-2011   Johnny Murtagh rides Native Khan

Ed has booked three-time Blue Riband hero Johnny Murtagh to ride NATIVE KHAN in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday, following the revelation that Kieren Fallon had jumped ship and accepted the mount on Aidan O'Brien's Derrinstown Stud Trial winner Recital.

"We are delighted to have Johnny on our side," declared Ed on Monday night. "He has already won the race on Sinndar, High Chaparral and Motivator, and he is a world-class jockey with a fantastic record around Epsom. He finished third on Ouija Board in the 2004 Arc, so we know him well, and I am sure that he will do a great job for us.''

"Obviously, it was disappointing hearing that Kieren (Fallon) had changed his mind, and I felt particularly sorry for the owners, who wanted him to ride and thought that they had their man. But it's no big deal - Native Khan has run five times, and Kieren was only aboard twice.''

"We then went for Olivier Peslier, who rode Native Khan in the 2000 Guineas, but he has to ride for the Wertheimer brothers at Longchamp on Saturday, so had to decline. However, getting Johnny is a real coup, and we are very happy about it."

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