Horses To Follow » Native Khan

Native Khan

Native Khan was impressive in winning what is often a good seven-furlong maiden at Newmarket on Wednesday on his racecourse debut. In fairness, 10 of the 14 runners were making their racecourse debuts, but there was still a lot to like about the manner in which the Ed Dunlop-trained colt prevailed. A little keen early on, on the near side, the son of Azamour settled into the race well, travelled well just behind the leader, the once-raced Bowermaster, took it up off that rival on the near side two furlongs out, and picked up impressively. He galloped on strongly up the hill all the way to the line, putting a distance of ground between himself and his closest pursuers, the two Godolphin horses, Baransky and long-time leader and favourite Bowermaster, both of whom had had the benefit of a run, getting stronger the further up the hill he went to come right away.

Native Khan was weak in the market beforehand, he didn’t appear to be that well fancied, which was hardly surprising given that most of the Ed Dunlop-trained debutants come on a fair but from their first run, so there is every chance that he will improve significantly for this. Also, he raced as if he should get further, that he might be even better over a mile, and there is plenty of stamina as well as speed in his pedigree. This is a race that has been won in the past by subsequent Champagne Stakes and Queen Anne winner Dubai Destination, by subsequent Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Rio De La Plata (both of those owned by Sheikh Mohammed/Godolphin, suggesting that this is a race in which Sheikh Mohammed likes to run some of his best maidens, so the fact that Godolphin horses finished second and third is probably not insignificant), subsequent Goffs Million winner Soul City and last year by Elusive Pimpernel, who won the Acomb Stakes on his next start, finished second to St Nicholas Abbey in the Racing Post Trophy on his last start last season, and won the Craven on his debut this season. Also, the time of this year’s renewal was good, only marginally slower than the time that the three-year-old fillies clocked in a Class 2 handicap run over the same course and distance earlier in the day. Native Khan could prove to be a useful recruit, and he should be worth following wherever he goes next, even if he steps up markedly in class. He could be under-rated given that he doesn’t hail from one of the really fashionable yards nor race in fashionable colours.

7th July 2010

© The Irish Field, 10th July 2010