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Murtagh back in old routine


Johnny Murtagh swoops on Mesariya

Johnny Murtagh swoops on Mesariya

Johnny Murtagh swoops on Mesariya

Mesariya gave Johnny Murtagh a winning start back as number one jockey to the Aga Khan and John Oxx when making a successful debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden at Leopardstown.

Showing no signs of jet lag after riding in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday night, Murtagh enjoyed a comfortable victory on the promising daughter of Sinndar.

He brought the 6-1 shot with a smooth run on the outside to lead inside the final furlong and score by a length from Siren's Song, with Eva's Time half a length third as Oxx saddled the winner of this race for the third year running.

The trainer said: "That looked a good maiden - a nice race. She is by Sinndar, which gives her the stamina, but she is out of a Cadeaux Genereux mare who was a seven-furlong filly.

"We don't have a strong programme here for the likes of her, but the Salsabil Stakes at Navan in three weeks' time is an option.

"We got a rush of blood and entered her for the Guineas and Oaks lately and that doesn't look too stupid now."

Ballydoyle contender Wonder Of Wonders was sent off the evens favourite but got into all sorts of trouble when looking for room coming down the straight and should not be judged on this.

Oxx, Murtagh and the Aga Khan doubled up when Haziyna (9-2) swept clear two furlongs out and ran away with the Leopardstown Family Fun Racedays Handicap, winning eased down by three and a half lengths.

The trainer added: "She'll get hammered for that! We'll see what the handicapper does now and we'll go for another handicap. We liked her last year but she ran very ordinary. She'll probably improve over time and she liked that ground."