Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Opportunity Knox for Murtagh

Fort Knox

Johnny Murtagh is aiming for a dream start to his training career with Fort Knox in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday.

The multiple Group One-winning jockey has been assisting Tommy Carmody for the past couple of seasons, with a string for prominent owner Andrew Tinkler at Murtagh's Curragh yard.

Murtagh has now taken over the reins, but Fort Knox no longer runs in Tinker's colours as, after an impressive win in a Guineas trial at Leopardstown, he was bought by Sheikh Mohammed and will run in the famous maroon and white silks at the weekend.

"It's a big weekend and we've got a few entries. Fort Knox has come out of his last race well and he's been doing everything nicely. Crucially he's had no hiccups since then. He's going nicely at home and I'm really looking forward to it," said Murtagh.

"Sheikh Mohammed's team were obviously impressed with Fort Knox and I think a lot of it is to do with him being by Dubawi, who is the stallion of the moment. It's a big confidence boost that they left him with us.

"They saw he was being aimed at the Guineas and we train just down the road so they probably thought it was for the best.

"It was a tough race at Leopardstown, the ground was soft and there was a real headwind into your face so he showed a good attitude to win as he did. I don't think better ground will be an issue. It should be beautiful this weekend anyway, as it's good at the moment with a few showers about.

"It will be some start if he can win, nobody can accuse us of not aiming high, anyway!"

Tinkler will still be represented in the Classicafter he paid the supplementary entry fee for Ask Dad.

Murtagh added: "Andrew was keen to have a runner in the race which is why he's supplemented Ask Dad. It's a race that's been lucky for him in the past and he's been placed in it before so he said we may as well try to pick up some placed money."