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Native Khan still a classic contender

Sun 24 October 2010

NATIVE KHAN lost his unbeaten record in Saturday's Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, but in finishing fourth on unsuitable ground he came out best of the Brits and Ed was far from despondent about the colt's future on Sunday morning.

He said "We always suspected that Native Khan would hate soft ground, and so it proved. The plan was for Paul (Hanagan) to drop him out as it was important that we got him settled, but he was adamant when he got off that he could not handle that going and felt that if conditions had been quicker he would have finished a lot closer."

"œWe learned a lot about Native Khan at Doncaster, and, while the 2000 Guineas remains a possible next year, we are now pretty confident that he'll stay further, and, though the extended 10 furlongs at Chantilly could prove his optimum distance, bringing the Prix du Jockey-Club into the equation as, being French-bred, he would come in for the breeders premium, we would also consider supplementing him  for Epsom. He has plenty of speed in his pedigree, but he is also related to a hurdler so he should get a mile and a quarter and possibly a mile and a half."

"œObviously, I am disappointed that we did not win the race, but, the result apart, I could not have been happier about Native Khan's performance as we now know for sure that the ground is the key to him."

"œHe has come off the pace on the wrong ground and stayed on really well at the end. Remember, it was the first time that he has been involved in a battle. He never learned that much when winning his maiden at Newmarket first time out and even in the Solario Stakes at Sandown he was hemmed in on the rails for a long time and once the gap he quickened up and put the race to bed, so he had never previously been in a scrap. Everything is possible next year, but one thing is certain and that is that his programme will be determined by the ground. He won't be going anywhere if it is soft."

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