News

MURTAGH AND BALLYDOYLE SPLIT

Johnny Murtagh has released a statement revealing he will no longer ride as stable jockey to Coolmore and Ballydoyle.

Murtagh began his role, principally riding for trainer Aidan O`Brien, in 2008 and the operation have enjoyed huge success in that period.

Murtagh guided the brilliant Yeats to two of his four victories in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, as well as enjoying multiple Classic victories on the likes of Henrythenavigator, Fame And Glory and most recently Cape Blanco in this year`s Irish Derby.

The jockey`s last notable success for the Coolmore operation came aboard Roderic O`Connor in the Group One Criterium International at Saint-Cloud on October 31.

A statement released on behalf of Murtagh said: "Johnny has spoken to Mr John Magnier, Mr Derrick Smith, Mr Michael Tabor and Mr Aidan O`Brien today and informed them that he will not be renewing his contract to ride as stable jockey to Coolmore and Ballydoyle next season, 2011.

"He would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Magnier, Mr Smith, Mr Tabor and Mr O`Brien for the wonderful and successful three years that they had together and wish all of them and their families every success in the future.

"He would also like to thank Mr David Wachman, Mr Charles O`Brien and Mr Tommy Stack, who also trained Coolmore horses, and again wish them every success next season."

William Hill are betting on Murtagh`s replacement at Ballydoyle and they make Pat Smullen the 6-4 favourite to land one of racing`s top jobs.

French-based Belgian Christophe Soumillon is next best at 7-2, with Ryan Moore 5-1 and Kieren Fallon, who was given the job back in 2005, is 7-1 from 9-1.

William Hill`s Tony Kenny said: "We received numerous requests for the market on Sunday morning and at that stage we had a feeling there was something going on down in Ballydoyle.

"Pat Smullen remains the favourite for the position, although we did see solid money for both Kieren Fallon and Colm O`Donoghue on Monday afternoon"

Posted on www.sportinglife.com 9th November 2010

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