Sole Power: King's Stand hero the pick of Johnny Murtagh's four winnersPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Outsider Murtagh claims fifth top jockey award
HE WENT into Royal Ascot a 33-1 outsider to win the top jockey award but Johnny Murtagh proved he remains a master of his craft as he roared to victory with four wins over the five days.
Despite going into the final afternoon with three wins to his name, leaving him tied for first with Joseph O'Brien and James Doyle, Murtagh was an 8-1 shot to take his fifth top jockeys' title on Saturday morning. However, he scored on the ill-fated Thomas Chippendale for Lady Cecil in the Hardwicke Stakes, while both O'Brien and Doyle failed to add to their tallies.
"It's amazing as I started the week with two rides booked on Tuesday and one on Wednesday and Thursday - I thought then I was very glad to have the training career!" said Murtagh, who recently received his training licence.
"My agent Eddie Byrne did a great job and I'm delighted to win the trophy again. I'll still be travelling for rides when needed and not planning to stop."
Murtagh added: "The highlight was Sole Power and his Group 1 for Eddie Lynam and the Powers, who have been very loyal to me, and my winner for Lady Cecil was very special."
Ryan Moore added a win on the final day to take his tally to three, while Frankie Dettori suffered the agony of finishing second three times on Saturday as he chased in vain a comeback Royal Ascot win.
Aidan O'Brien, despite failing to add to his tally of four wins, took the trainers' title - like Murtagh for a fifth time - from Sir Michael Stoute, with three. Lady Cecil and Kevin Ryan had two wins apiece.
Bookmakers said they had broken even or were narrowly up on the week after results favoured them on Saturday, when not a single favourite won.
David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "We had a superb final day. We went into the biggest betting day of the week on the back foot but nearly everything went our way.
"The week got off to a flyer for us on Tuesday and ended in similar vein, but the middle days went the way of punters. On balance, we probably won by a short head."