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Native Khan enjoys his day out on the downs

Fri 27 May 2011

Epsom can be a terrifying experience on Derby Day, and Ed has no doubt that taking NATIVE KHAN to the historic Surrey Downs on Thursday to get a feel of the track in readiness for the biggest challenge of his career so far was "a worthwhile exercise".

Ed said:"We knew that we would not learn much, but Native Khan can be a bit boisterous, and, while he is definitely starting to grow up mentally, taking him down there did him the world of good. Kieren (Fallon) sat behind his lead horse (Satwa Laird) and they nudged ahead by half a length or so at the end, and, while it was not spectacular, that was never the idea. I was happy and so was Kieren. The horse was very well behaved in the paddock, and we came away pleased."

"Doubtless John McCririck will tell us that we can't win as no grey has triumphed in the Derby since Airborne in 1946, but happily Native Khan does not know that, and he has pleased me since he ran so well to finish third in the 2000 Guineas. We don't know whether he will stay the mile and a half, but he looks more of a stayer than a miler, and, though we could have taken the half-way option and gone for the Prix du Jockey Club, there is only one Derby, so we are heading for Epsom."

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