Johnny Murtagh intends to carry on riding despite gaining his licencePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Murtagh gains training licence but keeps riding
JOHNNY MURTAGH has been granted a licence to train by the Turf Club in Ireland, although the multiple champion jockey plans to continue riding.
Murtagh, 43, has been closely involved with trainer Tommy Carmody, who operates from Murtagh's stables on the Curragh, and influential owner Andrew Tinkler.
Murtagh's involvement with the pair is believed to be part of the reason the jockey lost his retainer to ride the Aga Khan's horses in Ireland last year.
Carmody, Murtagh and Tinkler have enjoyed conspicuous success since teaming up at the end of 2011 topped by the win of Royal Diamond in last year's Group 1 Gain Horse Feeds Irish St Leger.
"I finished the course and the Turf Club has granted me a licence to train," Murtagh told the Irish Times. "I'm delighted to get it sorted and I think it is an added bonus that I will be able to train and ride the horses."
Murtagh has won a string of top international and domestic races throughout his career in the saddle, including three Derbys with Sinndar, High Chaparral and Motivator.
Johnny Murtagh: three Derby winsPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Having started with John Oxx in Ireland, for whom he rode the likes of Breeders' Cup Mile winner Ridgewood Pearl and Derby and Arc winner Sinndar, Murtagh moved to Britain in 2003.
The likes of Soviet Song and Frizzante came for Murtagh during his time in Britain before he returned to Ireland to link up as number one rider for Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore.
Murtagh and O'Brien teamed up for numerous wins at the top level including Yeats's final two Gold Cups at Royal Ascot before the rider quit his position in 2010 to take up a role with the Aga Khan.
Despite receiving clearance to train, Murtagh plans to continue riding while acknowledging he may find outside rides harder to come by.
"I accept that me training might make it difficult for some people to use my services on their horses but I am still available to whoever wants me, and that includes internationally," he added.