Epsom Derby: Johnny Murtagh to ride Native Khan

Kieren Fallon on Native Khan
Fallon rode Native Khan in a racecourse gallop at Epsom last week

Triple Epsom Derby-winning jockey Johnny Murtagh will be on Native Khan in Saturday's big race after Kieren Fallon rejected the ride.

Six-time champion Fallon, also a three-times Derby winner, will ride Recital for Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle team.

"The enticement of the great Ballydoyle battleship steered him towards their horse," said trainer Ed Dunlop.

Derby favourite Carlton House, owned by the Queen, is among 17 horses remaining in the field.

The Dante Stakes winner hardened as market leader after an impressive workout last week.

O'Brien is set to have four runners, with Christophe Soumillon aboard Dante runner-up Seville, Colm O'Donoghue riding Treasure Beach and the trainer's son, Joseph, on Memphis Tennessee.

His Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Roderic O'Connor remains in the line-up, although is more likely to head to the French Derby on Sunday.

And there could be two French challengers at Epsom, in Pour Moi and Vadamar.

Five horses were withdrawn at the five-day declaration stage on Monday.

Apache, Dunboyne Express, Manhaj, Master Of Hounds and Regent Street were taken out.

Native Khan's owners had hoped Fallon would take the mount on the 2,000 Guineas third after partnering the grey in a spin round the track last week.

"The horse is very well. We must not forget he has run five times and Fallon has actually only ridden him twice," said Dunlop.

He later told the Guardian: "We've got a very able deputy in Johnny Murtagh who is an outstanding jockey around Epsom and I'm very happy with that.

"It's not as big a deal as it will probably be made out to be."

The other jockeys to have ridden Native Khan to date are Eddie Ahern, Paul Hanagan and Olivier Peslier, who guided him into third place behind Frankel at Newmarket.

Carlton House, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, came through his final serious exercise before Epsom with flying colours as he easily moved clear of his lead horse on Wednesday.

"He worked over seven furlongs on the watered gallop. He stretched out really nicely, ridden by Ryan Moore, who was thrilled with the way he went," said Warren.

"He's gone the right way since York [Dante} and the trainer and jockey were very satisfied and it was very pleasing to watch."

Epsom Derby entries (form, horse, owner, trainer)

21-1 CARLTON HOUSE (USA) Sir Michael Stoute

1211-5 CASAMENTO (IRE) Mahmood Al Zarooni

0560-5 CASTLEMORRIS KING Michael Attwater

331-13 GENIUS BEAST (USA) Mahmood Al Zarooni

1-6 MARHABA MALYOON (IRE) David Simcock

16-51 MASKED MARVEL John Gosden


22- 12 NATHANIEL (IRE) John Gosden

114-13 NATIVE KHAN (FR) Ed Dunlop

5-11 OCEAN WAR Mahmood Al Zarooni

0(1)120-3 PISCO SOUR (USA) Hughie Morrison

01-31 POUR MOI (IRE) Andre Fabre FR

11-31 RECITAL (FR) Aidan O'Brien IRE

3121-01 RODERIC O'CONNOR (IRE) Aidan O'Brien IRE

212-2 SEVILLE (GER) Aidan O'Brien IRE

21123-1 TREASURE BEACH Aidan O'Brien IRE

61-13 VADAMAR (FR) Alain de Royer Dupre FR

Top Stories