Johnny Murtagh

Plans Fluid For Sonnyboyliston

G3 Longines Red Sea Turf H. runner-up Sonnyboyliston (Ire) (Power {GB}) is a possibility for the G2 Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan on Mar. 26, but trainer Johnny Murtagh will first see how his charge comes out of his latest effort before making firm plans. A winner of the G1 Comer Group International Irish St. Leger at The Curragh on Sept. 12, Kildare Racing Club's 5-year-old gelding closed up the inside in the Red Sea Turf H. and was a clear second behind Stay Foolish (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}) on...

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The Back Nine With Johnny Murtagh

A horse for 2022: Sonnyboyliston (Ire) (Power {GB}). He's my best horse, and he's ready for Saudi. First season or proven stallion: Whatever I can afford! The market dictates, but I've had luck with first-season sires. Speed or stamina: It depends on the clients, but I would prefer a horse that stays a bit, with size and scope. Kildare or Meath: My heart is in Meath, but all my kids are playing for Kildare! Best current jockey: I've the best young jockey in Ben Coen. Favourite horse you rode: Sinndar...

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Royal Ascot Winner Create Belief Retired

RacehorseClub's Create Belief (Ire) (Awtaad {Ire}), the winner of last year's Sandringham S. at Royal Ascot and the G3 Desmond S. at Leopardstown, has been retired from racing and will go to Tweenhills Stud to begin her broodmare career. RacehorseClub Ambassador Freddy Tylicki said of the 4-year-old Create Belief, "She came back into training with Johnny Murtagh before the new year but, unfortunately, she's since picked up a career-ending injury. She gave RacehorseClub our first-ever winner at The Curragh in a premier handicap in May before winning the Sandringham S....

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Sportsman's Sale Closes On A High

The conclusion of the two-day Goffs Sportsman's Sale on Friday marked the end of a strong four days of trade at Goffs's Kildare Paddocks, with both the Orby and Sportsman's Sales rebounding from difficult 2020 renewals--when forced to move to Doncaster--and posting significant gains. A shade over €3-million was added to the coffers on Friday when 150 of the 162 yearlings offered sold, bringing the two-day aggregate to €6,967,300. The cumulative average jumped 41% to €20,674, while the cumulative median rose 45% to €16,000. Last year at Doncaster, 67.7% of...

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Dark Angel Filly A New Rising Star At Dundalk

Dundalk's Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden had the feel of a must-watch race beforehand and Friday's seven-furlong contest lived up to expectations playing host to a new TDN Rising Star in Newtown Anner Stud Farm's Angels Wrath (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}). Flaunting her wares in a barrier trial here prior to this debut against some smart yardsticks, the 9-2 shot was restrained in mid-division early showing keenness under Ben Coen. Looming with menace when pulled wide in the straight, the Johnny Murtagh-trained homebred showed sharp acceleration to hit the...

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Sonnyboyliston Will Not Travel For Melbourne Cup

Sunday's G1 Comer Group International Irish St Leger hero Sonnyboyliston (Ire) (Power {GB}) will not travel Down Under for a tilt in the 2021 G1 Melbourne Cup. Trained by Johnny Murtagh, the Kildare Racing Club colourbearer took the Listed Martin Molony S. at Limerick in June and, although sixth in the G3 John Smith's Silver Cup S. at York on July 10, bounced back with a narrow win in the Sky Bet Ebor H. there on Aug. 21. The 4-year-old gelding defeated 2020 Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment (Ire) (Teofilo...

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The Weekly Wrap: Like A Hurricane

It's a childish game but I've long amused myself by seeing how many song titles can be weaved into headlines and this weekend's results provided an open goal for a Neil Young classic, not once but twice.  Two hurricanes blew across Town Moor on Saturday at the opposite ends of the distance spectrum. Hurricane Ivor (Ire) (Ivawood {GB}) is an admirable sprinter who has bounced back from a blistering debut for Fabrice Chappet and subsequent illness that ruled him out of much of his juvenile season. He has been creeping...

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Irish Leger Success For Sonnyboyliston

Underlining the strength of York's revamped Ebor H., the Kildare Racing Club's Sonnyboyliston (Ire) (Power {GB}) bounced out of his success in that prestigious affair to bring up a notable double in Sunday's G1 Comer Group International Irish St Leger at The Curragh. With the dual winner Search For a Song (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) unable to make an impact this time, the Johnny Murtagh-trained 4-year-old had the Joseph O'Brien pair Twilight Payment (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) and Baron Samedi (GB) (Harbour Watch {Ire}) to contend with and proved toughest to carry...

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Hurricane Lane Leads 18 St Leger Nominations

Classic winner Hurricane Lane (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), who won the G1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and G1 Grand Prix de Paris already this summer, will line up for Godolphin in the G1 Cazoo St Leger on Sept. 11, one of 18 colts and fillies left in the fall Classic. G1 Cazoo Derby hero Adayar (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), who also races for Godolphin, will not take part, and instead target the G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Richard Hannon's Mojo Star (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), one better than...

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Ladies Church Strikes For Churchill's First Stakes Success

Mark Dobbin's Ladies Church (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) registered a June 9 debut fourth at Cork, behind the reopposing Impeachd Alexander (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), and followed up a June 30 breakthrough score over five furlongs at Tipperary with an impressive display tackling the same trip in Wednesday's Listed Arqana Irish EBF Marwell S. at Naas, becoming the first stakes winner for her freshman sire (by Galileo {Ire}). The 3-1 second favourite was restrained to race in an overall third as British raider Sophie's Star (GB) (Cotai Glory {GB}) blazed a solo...

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Keatley Takes Top Stable Staff Awards Honour

Valerie Keatley, head girl for trainer Johnny Murtagh, was honoured with the Irish Racing Excellence Award at the 2021 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards on Wednesday. Keatley, who also won the Leadership Award (Stable), has been with Murtagh since shortly after he set up his training business and Murtagh credits her contribution as one of the reasons behind the yard's success. Keatley said, "It was a huge honour to be nominated and be chosen as one of the finalists. To win the Leadership Stable Award and then win the...

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Johnny Murtagh to Train for HH The Aga Khan

Five-time Irish Champion Jockey Johnny Murtagh, who has been training since 2013, will join the roster of HH The Aga Khan's trainers in Ireland, The Aga Khan Studs announced on Tuesday. Trainer of this season's G1 Matron S. heroine Champers Elysees (Ire) (Elzaam {Aus}), Murtagh was stable jockey to John Oxx from 1992 until 2003 and rode many winners in the iconic green and red colours, among them English and Irish Derby hero Sinndar (Ire) (Grand Lodge). Murtagh was also retained jockey for His Highness The Aga Khan in 2011...

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