Belfast Telegraph

Fort Knox can be a banker for Murtagh

By The Punter

Johnny Murtagh is hoping for a dream start to his training career with Fort Knox in Saturday's Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Murtagh, combining riding with training, has taken over the Tommy Carmody yard and has been allowed to keep Fort Knox who now carries the maroon and white colours of Sheikh Mohammed after being bought from the stable owner Andrew Tinkler.

Currently 7/1, Knox won his trial at Leopardstown and Murtagh says: "It's a big weekend and we've got a couple of 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.

"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.

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

Murtagh also handles Ask Dad for Tinkler who has supplemented the horse for the race as he's still keen to have a runner but Dad is likely to be running for place money.

Favourite is Aidan O'Brien's Cristoforo Colombo (3/1) after this one finished fifth behind Dawn Approach in the Newmarket Classic but the value lies with Richard Hannon's Van Der Neer who was third in that same race and was runner-up to Kingsbarns in the Racing Post Trophy back in October.

Hannon had also hoped to run Olympic Glory, a disappointment in the French Guinea,s but while he has decided against that he will have a second entry in Havanna Gold.

Successful two years ago with Canford Cliffts, Hannon's Van Der Neer at 5/1 is the form selection .

Belfast Telegraph


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