Murtagh goes for glory on Champions Day

By Staff Writer  |  October 18, 2013

Johnny Murtagh returns the scene of his greatest triumph this season hoping for more glory on the richest day in horse racing.

The top Irish jockey was the star of the show at Royal Ascot earlier this season and is hoping for more success in tomorrow’s QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot.

Now he returns to the Berkshire track knowing he can extend his immense reputation with five races offering more than £3million in prize money to top runners from around the globe.

Murtagh has won every major race in Europe and he hopes he can be successful tomorrow and put the disappointment of losing one of his favourite rides Novellist behind him after the record breaking horse was retired to stud this week.

Looking ahead to Champions Day, Murtagh said: “It’s a fantastic day of racing and is marvellous for the sport.

“The best horses run over the best distances on the best track in the world. The atmosphere here is amazing, the track is a true test of horse and jockey and the facilities, including the outstanding grandstand, are out of this world.

“It’s not far from London and when you put everything together you have the most fantastic showpiece possible.”

Murtagh, who is also a successful trainer, rides Haydock Sprint Cup winner Gordon Lord Byron in the £1million Queen Elizabeth Stakes and expects to be prominent at the finish.

He is also on board King’s Stand winner Sole Power in the British Champions Series Sprint Stakes and last year’s Irish St Leger winner Royal Diamond in the British Champions Long Distance Cup, a horse he also trains from his base in County Kildare.

Wonder horse Frankel brought the curtain down on a stunning career with a 13th victory at this meeting last year and Murtagh added: “There isn’t a horse in training at the moment which would come close to Frankel although Treve, who just won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is definitely one to watch next season.”

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