Murtagh set to wear two Royal Ascot hats

Rite Of Passage heads Gold Cup acceptors

Johnny Murtagh gearing up for Royal Ascot next week.

Johnny Murtagh gearing up for Royal Ascot next week.


One of Royal Ascot’s most successful jockeys Johnny Murtagh will break new ground at the world famous meeting next week with his first runners as a trainer but also has a decent overall book of rides to look forward to.

With 39 Royal Ascot winners over the years, Murtagh lags behind only Frankie Dettori (47) in the list of winners by current jockeys, a tally that includes five wins in the Ascot Gold Cup.

This time he will be on board the Willie Mullins trained Simenon in the stayers feature and other Group One rides lined up for the Meathman are Sole Power in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes and Viztoria in Friday’s Coronation Stakes. Both of those horses are trained by Eddie Lynam.

Trainers hat
Murtagh will don his trainers hat when Sweet Lightning lines up for the Royal Hunt Cup while Campanology is a possible for the Britannina Handicap. Sweet Lightning is top-weight for Wednesday’s Hunt Cup and claiming apprentice Luke Dempsey is set to ride the English and Irish Lincoln winner for Murtagh in the big mile handicap.

Dermot Weld has left both Rite Of Passage and the Saval Beg heroine Pale Mimosa in Thursday’s Gold Cup. They are among 19 horses left in the race after yesterday’s forfeit stage. The Irish team is also set to include John Oxx’s Saddlers Rock.