Murtagh to see out season with Oxx


Racing:Johnny Murtagh will continue to ride for trainer John Oxx for the remainder of the season despite the jockey’s split with leading owner and breeder the Aga Khan.

Murtagh’s contract to ride the Aga Khan’s Irish-based horses was terminated last week, with the owner’s stud farm manager Pat Downes citing “differences between the parties”.

The 42-year-old can no longer ride Oxx’s Aga Khan-owned string, but the Currabeg handler said he will still use the rider for his other horses. Murtagh is currently sidelined after a fall at the Curragh last month, but is set to partner the Oxx-trained Born To Sea in Saturday’s Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

“All being well, he’ll be riding Born To Sea on Saturday and he will ride our horses for other owners for the remainder of the year, where appropriate,” said Oxx. “He was not retained by anybody other than the Aga Khan, so he is effectively a freelance now.

“He can choose what he wants to ride, but hopefully he’ll be on a good few of ours for the rest of this season. He’s been riding work and I think he’s due to see the doctor Tuesday or Wednesday so he can get clearance to ride again. I think he’d quite like to ride on Wednesday so he is nice and sharp for the weekend.”

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