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'Champion elect' rides Native Khan

Wed 20 October 2010

NATIVE KHAN, who will dip his toes in deep waters for the first time when flying the flag for La Grange in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday, had his final blow-out over six and a half furlongs on the Al Bahathri Polytrack gallop at Newmarket on Wednesday, and his new big-race jockey Paul Hanagan drove down from Yorkshire to get acquainted with our star two-year-old.

Ed, impressed as he saw Native Khan pick off his lead horse and "˜win' the gallop easing down by five lengths, said "It was a useful exercise having Paul down as Native Khan can be a bit lazy at home, and the getting-to-know-you session is all both horse and rider need between now and Saturday."             

"œWho knows whether we made the right decision in swerving the Dewhurst as two of the big three failed to fire, but we look like getting better ground at Doncaster than we encountered at Newmarket and, being such a good-actioned individual, Native Khan will appreciate it if the going continues to dry out."

 "œOn paper it might not look so tough as did the Dewhurst, but it is still very competitive and both the Irish horses (Casamento and Dunboyne Express) have solid credentials, as does Brian Meehan's Titus Mills."

"œEddie Ahern, who rode Native Khan in the Solario Stakes at Sandown, was never going to be back from injury in time, and, while we had hoped to get Kieren Fallon, who was aboard when Native Khan made such an impressive winning debut at our July meeting, he has opted for Titus Mills, so we have been forced to look elsewhere."

"œBoth Ryan Moore and Richard Hughes, who have ridden Snow Fairy for us this season, are at Newbury, so we moved quickly to snap up Paul, who was due to ride the filly in the Champion Stakes last week until we did a U-turn."

"œIf we listen to Ladbrokes, who take the view that the race for the jockeys title is all over, Paul is already champion, and he has ridden some good winners for us, so I am delighted to have him on board, and they seemed to hit it off straight away which is encouraging."

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