County Of Origin: Meath
Date of license: 2013
First winner: Benbecula (Ben Curtis), Tramore, June 1, 2013
First Group 1 winner (as a trainer): Champers Elysees (Colin Keane) (Matron Stakes) Leopardstown, September, 2020
First Classic winner (as a trainer): Sonnyboyliston (Ben Coen) (Comer Group International Irish St Leger), Curragh, September, 2021
Significant Horses (Selected): Champers Elysees, Sonnyboyliston; Ottoman Emperor, True Valour, Mutual Regard, Purr Along, Belle De
Crecy, Duchess Andorra, Urban Beat, Stroll Patrol, Royal Diamond, Dalkova, Rich Coast, Hawke, Earlswood, Create Belief.
Follow Johnny on Twitter: @JohnnyMurtagh
Did you know?
Johnny Murtagh was widely considered to be one of the greatest big-race jockeys in the world for the better part of 20 years. He enjoyed considerable success in the saddle across the globe. Initially associated with John Oxx, who was to provide him with superstars such as Ridgewood Pearl, Sinndar and Alamshar to ride, Murtagh was crowned champion apprentice in 1989 and champion jockey on five occasions, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2009 and 2011.
He left Oxx to ride as a freelance in 2003 and later teamed up with Aidan O'Brien. He rode an array of Group 1 winners for Ballydoyle in 2006 and was confirmed as retained jockey to the Coolmore partners the following year. Together they enjoyed huge success. However, they parted ways at the backend of 2010 and Murtagh was snapped up as retained rider to the Aga Khan in Ireland, effectively making him John Oxx’s stable jockey once again.
In 2012, as having become heavily involved with trainer Tommy Carmody who was operating out of Murtagh’s yard on the Curragh, a disagreement with the Aga Khan led to him losing his job. Murtagh took out his trainer’s license and enjoyed a remarkable season both as a trainer and rider in 2013, riding five Group 1 winners as well as being crowned leading jockey at Royal Ascot.
His first winner as a trainer came at Tramore on June 1st, 2013 when Benbacula scored under Ben Curtis. The same horse won again at Fairyhouse 11 days later and Murtagh was soon established in his new role. Royal Diamond, Belle De Crecy and Rich Coast were early big race winners. Murtagh landed a notable winner in Britain in August of 2014 when Mutual Regard won the Betfred Ebor at York.
He enjoyed his first treble as a trainer at Leopardstown on Thursday, June 14, 2018 when Parkers Hill (Niall McCullagh), True Valour (Chris Hayes) and Circling Moon (Conor Hoban) all won.
Johnny landed his first Group 1 success as a trainer when the Colin Keane-ridden Champers Elysees took the Matron Stakes on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown in September, 2020. As a jockey, Johnny won the race on three occasions. A year later and at the same two-day fixture, Murtagh gained his first Classic success when the Ben Coen-ridden Sonnyboyliston won the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh.
As a jockey, Johnny Murtagh rode 43 winners at Royal Ascot in all and he gained his first training success at the meeting when the Ben Coen-ridden Create Belief landed the Sandringham Handicap for three-year-old fillies in 2021.