Peslier Booked For Khan Guineas Ride

Ed Dunlop has revealed that he has booked star French rider Olivier Peslier to partner the yard’s Native Khan, a comfortable winner of the Grade 3 Craven Stakes and a popular each-way fancy for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at HQ on April 30, writes Elliot Slater.

Dunlop is quite candid in admitting that Native Khan will have to improve again from his recent Newmarket win, but is certain that the son of Azamour has come on considerably since his win where some paddocks observers felt that he looked as if the outing would do him good. In the event, even a 90% fit Native Khan proved far too good for last season’s very useful performer Libranno, as Dunlop’s charge bounded up the hill to score with something to spare by a cosy two-lengths, under Keiren Fallon. Those who had placed horse racing bets on the animal were delighted.

With Fallon having to sit on the sidelines during the Guineas meeting having been hit with a 10-day suspension (later reduced to seven on appeal), after being found guilty of failing to ride out for second place at Kempton earlier this month, Dunlop was left having to find a suitable jockey for his Guineas contender. The Newmarket handler teamed up with Peslier to great effect with the mighty Ouija Board five years ago and Peslier was more than happy to step into Fallon’s shoes and pick up a plum spare ride.

The Frenchman rides the Rowley Mile course very well as he proved when winning the 2000 Guineas on Cockney Rebel in 2007 for Geoff Huffer. With the big race possibly set to cut up due to a combination of odds-on favourite Frankel scaring off plenty of arrivals and the likelihood of quick ground (a surface that ideally suits Dunlop’s horse), Native Khan, currently a best priced 14/1 chance in the ante-post list, could well carry Peslier into the place money in the first colts’ Classic of the season.