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Murtagh at double


Johnny Murtagh's new career as a trainer is flourishing

Johnny Murtagh's new career as a trainer is flourishing


Johnny Murtagh's new career as a trainer is flourishing

Johnny Murtagh is best known for his big-race triumphs as a jockey but his new career as a trainer is flourishing, highlighted by the fact the Meath native has two horses in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Murtagh was one of the most satisfied European trainers after the draw proved largely kind to the raiding party.

Ebor winner Mutual Regard breaks from 12 of 24 and Royal Diamond from six.

"I'm very happy, it gives us options for both horses," Murtagh said.

Andrew Tinkler, Murtagh's employer and owner of both horses, has made his first visit to Australia and enjoyed seeing Damien Oliver record a Group One double on the AAMI Victoria Derby card.

"I think Damien will really suit Mutual Regard," Tinkler said.

"He's a top-class jockey who has got great experience in this race. But Steven Arnold (Royal Diamond) is really good in this race too, he's finished third."

Ed Dunlop said he was "very happy" with Red Cadeaux in 15, with the evergreen chestnut back for his fourth challenge.

Andreas Wohler's Protectionist, the mount of Ryan Moore, has a good draw in 11 with Saeed Bin Suroor's pair Cavalryman and Willing Foe in three and 17. Roger Varian's Ambivalent is in four and Marco Botti's Seismos is in a tricky inside stall one.

The losers were the OTI Racing syndicate, with three of their four runners on the wide outside. Andre Fabre's Au Revoir is 23, the John Gosden-trained Gatewood one inside in 22 and Brambles next to him in 21, while the other domestically-prepared challenger Lidari is in 10.

Simon O'Donnell, one of the OTI organisers, said: "You'd expect them to be spread all over the 24, but all three have different riding tactics. We'd love a one-two-three-four. We're very happy with all four horses."

Meanwhile, trainer Jamie Osborne could not have been prouder in defeat after Toast Of New York was narrowly outgunned by Bayern in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

The UAE Derby winner was beaten just a nose, with Osborne, jockey Jamie Spencer and owner Michael Buckley understandably emotional after the race.

Osborne said: "This is a huge emotional thing for myself, Michael and Jamie - he has run his heart out and nearly pulled off the impossible."

Belfast Telegraph