Saturday 23 September 2017

Dunlop targets Native swoop

Ed Dunlop is confident Native Khan can improve on his promising fifth at Epsom and give Johnny Murtagh another Irish Derby winner tomorrow.

It is the grey's third bid for Classic success, having placed third behind Frankel in the 2,000 Guineas before running well on his first try at a mile and a half in the world's most famous Flat race.

Murtagh took the ride for the first time at Epsom and the partnership will be maintained at The Curragh this weekend.

"He is such a good mover and he floats over fast ground, so the more it dries out the better, but he came out of Epsom great and this is his last chance of running against the Classic generation," Dunlop said.

"Johnny is adamant that, while The Curragh is more of a stamina track than Epsom, it will suit Native Khan better, so we go there with a good shout."

Native Khan has ground to make up on Epsom runner-up Treasure Beach, third-placed Carlton House and the fourth home Memphis Tennessee, but Murtagh remains hopeful.

"I'm looking forward to riding him again," said Murtagh. "He has a couple of lengths to make up, but hopefully he can do that."

Irish Independent

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