|Occupation||Jockey / trainer|
|Born||14 May 1970|
Navan, County Meath, Ireland
|Sinndar, Kalanisi, Choisir, Soviet Song, Henrythenavigator, Yeats, Fame and Glory, Dancing Rain|
|1000 Guineas (0)|
|2000 Guineas (2)|
|Rock Of Gibraltar||Hawk Wing||Redback|
|Henrythenavigator||New Approach||Stubbs Art|
|High Chaparral||Hawk Wing||Moon Ballad|
|Motivator||Walk in the Park||Dubawi|
|Dancing Rain||Wonder Of Wonders||Izzi Top|
|St Leger (0)|
Johnny Murtagh (born 14 May 1970) is an Irish flat racing jockey and trainer from Bohermeen, Kells, County Meath. He has won many of the major flat races in Europe, including all the Irish Classics, all the Group 1 Races at Royal Ascot, The Derby, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakesand Europe's biggest race the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He has also been Irish flat racing Champion Jockey five times.
Murtagh was a keen amateur boxer as a young boy and was once Irish boy's under-14 boxing champion.He also came close to joining Blackburn Rovers’ youth football team.
In an RTÉ radio interview, Johnny stated that at a fight one evening in his native County Meath, a spectator advised his mother that Johnny would make a good jockey, citing his small size, weight, good balance, sense of rhythm, and courage.[ citation needed ] His mother wrote to the Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) in County Kildare, a school for apprentice jockeys, and got a two-week trial for her son. After persuasion by friends, he joined. He was one of 26 successful candidates who progressed onto the RACE 10-month course.
In the same RTÉ interview, Johnny stated that he knew riding was for him as soon as he stepped into the world of horses.[ citation needed ] From the trial, he got on the ten-month training course, and within a year, he was apprenticed to John Oxx, one of Ireland’s leading trainers.
Murtagh rode his first winner, Chicago Style, at Limerick in 1987.
He became stable jockey to Oxx in 1992, and from then until his departure in 2003, rode 18 Group One winners for the Oxx's leading owner, the Aga Khan.
For Oxx, Murtagh rode Sinndar to win The Derby and Irish Derby, as well as the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2000.He won the Derby again on the Michael Bell trained Motivator. Johnny was also the regular jockey for talented filly Soviet Song. In 2004, the partnership won two Group 1 races, including the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Here she beat a strong field of colts, including the 2,000 Guineas winner Haafhd.
From 2008 to 2010, he was stable jockey for Coolmore, taking over from the drug-banned Kieren Fallon. He had been riding for them on an ad-hoc basis since 2002, most notably winning the Derby on High Chaparral in 2002.In 2008, he rode 19 Group One winners in a single season for O'Brien (21 in total for Coolmore), and followed it up in 2009 with another 10, including the Irish Derby, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Ascot Gold Cup, St. James's Palace Stakes and an Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas double.
He resigned his post as stable jockey to Coolmore in November 2010, issuing a statement via his agent to say he had informed Coolmore he wouldn't be renewing his contract.No reason was given but there was speculation that O'Brien was looking for another jockey, and on his recent return from the Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs, where he had ridden four losers for O'Brien, one bookmaker had been offering odds on his replacement. His last Group One winner for the team was Roderic O'Connor in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud on 31 October 2010.
This meant he was back riding for John Oxx who trained 90 of the Aga Khan's horses, and additionally for Mick Halford who trained 30.
"I am thrilled to be renewing my association with His Highness' horses in Ireland," Murtagh said in a statement. We have shared some fantastic moments over the years and I have always enjoyed riding in the green and red colours. This will also give me an opportunity to ride for John Oxx again. I started off riding for Mr Oxx and it has always been a pleasure to be part of his Currabeg team."[ citation needed ]
He announced his retirement on 25 February 2014, citing that it was to concentrate on his training career.
He is married to Orla, daughter of famous Tipperary hurler Michael "Babs" Keating, and has five children. Caroline, Charles, Lauren, Grace and Tom.
United Arab Emirates
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