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 Stakes and Europe's biggest race the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He has also been Irish flat racing Champion Jockey five times.
|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)|
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. 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. 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.
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."
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. Caroline is finished secondary school. Charles is in secondary school at Clongowes Wood College. Lauren is a boarder in The Ursuline Secondary School Thurles. Tom and Grace are still in primary school.
Major wins as a jockeyEdit
- Irish 1,000 Guineas - (1) - Again (2009)
- Irish 2,000 Guineas - (3) - Black Minnaloushe (2001), Henrythenavigator (2008), Mastercraftsman (2009)
- Irish Champion Stakes - (1) - Timarida (1996)
- Irish Derby - (4) - Sinndar (2000), Alamshar (2003), Fame and Glory (2009), Cape Blanco (2010)
- Irish Oaks - (6) - Ebadiyla (1997), Winona (1998), Petrushka (2000), Peeping Fawn (2007), Moonstone (2008), Chicquita (2013)
- Irish St. Leger - (1) - Jukebox Jury (2011)
- Matron Stakes - (3) - Timarida (1995), Soviet Song (2004), Lillie Langtry (2010)
- Moyglare Stud Stakes - (1) - Edabiya (1998)
- National Stakes - (3) - Manntari (1993), Sinndar (1999), Mastercraftsman (2008)
- Phoenix Stakes - (3) - Mastercraftsman (2008), Alfred Nobel (2009), Zoffany (2010)
- Pretty Polly Stakes - (2) - Takarouna (1993), Ambivalent (2013)
- Tattersalls Gold Cup - (3) - Notnowcato (2007), Duke of Marmalade (2008), Fame and Glory (2010)
- E. P. Taylor Stakes - (2) - Choc Ice (2001), Mrs Lindsay (2007)
- Critérium International - (1) - Roderic O'Connor (2010)
- Critérium de Saint-Cloud - (2) - Fame and Glory (2008), Recital (2010)
- Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp - (2) - Namid (2000), Total Gallery (2009)
- Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - (1) - Sinndar (2000)
- Prix du Cadran - (1) - Give Notice (2002)
- Prix de Diane – (1) – Valyra (2012)
- Prix Ganay - (1) - Duke of Marmalade (2008)
- Prix Marcel Boussac - (1) - Misty For Me (2010)
- Prix Morny - (1) - Bushranger (2008)
- Prix du Moulin de Longchamp - (1) - Ridgewood Pearl (1995)
- Prix de l'Opéra - (2) - Timarida (1995), Petrushka (2000)
- Prix Royal-Oak - (1) - Yeats (2008)
- Prix Vermeille - (1) - Mrs Lindsay (2007)
- 2,000 Guineas - (2) - Rock of Gibraltar (2002), Henrythenavigator (2008)
- Ascot Gold Cup - (5) - Enzeli (1999), Royal Rebel (2001, 2002), Yeats (2008, 2009)
- Champion Stakes - (1) - Kalanisi (2000)
- Cheveley Park Stakes - (2) - Lightening Pearl (2011), Rhosdu Queen (2012)
- Coronation Cup - (2) - Soldier of Fortune (2008), Fame and Glory (2010)
- Coronation Stakes - (2) - Ridgewood Pearl (1995), Lillie Langtry (2010)
- Derby - (3) - Sinndar (2000), High Chaparral (2002), Motivator (2005)
- Eclipse Stakes - (1) - Mount Nelson (2008)
- Falmouth Stakes - (3) - Soviet Song (2004, 2005), Simply Perfect (2007)
- Fillies' Mile - (1) - Listen (2007)
- Golden Jubilee Stakes - (4) - Superior Premium (2000), Choisir (2003), Soldier's Tale (2007), Starspangledbanner (2010)
- Haydock Sprint Cup - (1) - Gordon Lord Byron (2013)
- International Stakes - (2) - Duke of Marmalade (2008), Rip Van Winkle (2010)
- July Cup - (2) - Frizzante (2004), Starspangledbanner (2010)
- King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - (4) - Alamshar (2003), Dylan Thomas (2007), Duke of Marmalade (2008), Novellist (2013)
- King's Stand Stakes - (2) - Choisir (2003), Sole Power (2013)
- Middle Park Stakes - (1) - Bushranger (2008)
- Nassau Stakes - (2) - Peeping Fawn (2007), Halfway to Heaven (2008)
- Oaks - (1) - Dancing Rain (2011)
- Prince of Wales's Stakes - (1) - Duke of Marmalade (2008)
- Queen Anne Stakes - (2) - No Excuse Needed (2002), Haradasun (2008)
- Queen Elizabeth II Stakes - (1) - Rip Van Winkle (2009)
- Racing Post Trophy - (2) - Dilshaan (2000), St Nicholas Abbey (2009)
- St. James's Palace Stakes - (3) - Black Minnaloushe (2001), Henrythenavigator (2008), Mastercraftsman (2009)
- Sussex Stakes - (3) - Soviet Song (2004), Henrythenavigator (2008), Rip Van Winkle (2009)
- Yorkshire Oaks - (3) - Key Change (1996), Petrushka (2000), Peeping Fawn (2007)
- Hong Kong Vase - (1) - Daliapour (2000)
- UAE 2,000 Guineas - (2) - Asiatic Boy (2007), Honour Devil (2008)
- UAE Derby - (1) - Honour Devil (2008)
- Beverly D. Stakes - (1) - Timarida (1996)
- Breeders' Cup Marathon - (1) - Man of Iron (2009)
- Breeders' Cup Mile - (1) - Ridgewood Pearl (1995)
- Breeders' Cup Turf - (1) - Kalanisi (2000)
Major wins as a trainerEdit
- "Marmalade secures King George win". BBC Sport. 26 July 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Dylan Thomas wins King George". BBC Sport. 28 July 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Alamshar's Diamond success". BBC Sport. 26 July 2003. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "People in Racing: Johnny Murtagh". British Horseracing Authority. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Rock wins 2,000 Guineas". BBC Sport. 4 May 2002. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "High Chaparral wins Derby". BBC Sport. 8 June 2002. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Sinndar wins Derby classic". BBC Sport. 10 June 2000. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Sinndar stuns Montjeu to win Arc". BBC Sport. 1 October 2000. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Motivator powers to Derby victory". BBC Sport. 4 June 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Armytage, Marcus (8 November 2010). "Johnny Murtagh quits as No 1 jockey to Aidan O'Brien stable". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- BBC Sport: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/25928816
| Ballydoyle retained jockey