There will not be many horses that will go from winning a handicap hurdle to embarking on a stud career in France, but that is the plan for Khan after bagging his fourth victory of the season at Ludlow.
A Group One winner on the Flat in Germany in 2018, the eight-year-old has proved another shrewd purchase by trainer Milton Harris, who is enjoying a memorable campaign himself.
Since winning at Plumpton nearly 12 months ago, Khan had added to his tally with further wins at Fontwell in June, Huntingdon in October and Lingfield in November.
He was a 100-30 chance for his latest assignment in the Ludlow Brewery Handicap Hurdle and passed the post with almost three lengths in hand under Harry Reed.
Harris said: “He’s a lovely horse to be around with great character and he’s actually going to Pau as he’s got a job as a stallion – he leaves on Wednesday!
“That was his last run for us today, which is a shame as I think he’d have won again. He’ll be covering mares soon and hopefully we’ll get a few of his offspring back to train one day, you never know.
“He won a Group One as a four-year-old and just lost his way and then we got him. A lot of credit must go to Christian von der Recke as he found him for me and recommended him.
“He’s a gentleman of a horse who has been an absolute pleasure to be around.”
The Wiltshire-based trainer went on to complete a double on the card, with Mullenbeg registering a facile success in the Watch On RacingTV Mares’ Open NH Flat Race.
Bought for 42,000 guineas after placing in two Irish point-to-points, the 15-2 shot made a most impressive debut under Rules under Mitchell Bastyan.
“She shows enough at home without showing loads, which is probably the best way to have them,” Harris added.
“I hoped she’d finish in the first three. Did I think she’d win like that? No. She’s obviously a good mare.
“I’m going to enjoy today, but I’d say we’ll look towards Newbury and/or Aintree, something like that.”
Harris has now saddled a personal best of 35 winners this season and has a genuine Cheltenham Festival contender on his hands in leading Triumph Hurdle hope Knight Salute.
He said: “I’ve had good seasons with prize-money in the past, but we’ve not had 35 winners before.
“We’re having a good season and I’ve got no complaints. If we can, we’ll try to get close to 50, but let’s get to 40 first!”
The Olly Murphy-trained Dr T J Eckleburg opened his account over obstacles at the second attempt in the Vobe Electrics Juvenile Hurdle.
A dual winner on the level for David O’Meara, the son of Lawman made a promising start to his jumping career when filling the runner-up spot at Newbury last month.
He was the 8-11 favourite to go one better in Shropshire and ultimately had little trouble in accounting for Angels Landing by four and a quarter lengths.
“The race probably didn’t take much winning, but he had a good run first time in Newbury and that was grand,” said Murphy.
“The horse will have another run and we’ll see if he might be a horse for the Boodles at Cheltenham. I think he’ll be a better horse in a better race when you can drop him in off a fast pace.”
Quick Wave was a 10-1 winner of the Plyvine Caterers Handicap Chase for Venetia Williams and Harry Bannister, while Tom George’s Java Point (2-1 favourite) claimed top honours in the Behind Bars Novices’ Handicap Chase in the hands of Jonathan Burke.
Favourite backers also collected after each of the two divisions of the Luke Watson Memorial ‘National Hunt’ Maiden Hurdle.
Dan Skelton’s Jet Plane obliged at 11-5 under Bridget Andrews in the first division and Bridge North landed odds of 5-4 in division two for Henry Daly and Richard Patrick.
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