Murtagh's remarkable journey leads him to first Royal Ascot ride
Connor Murtagh presumed Richard Fahey's assistant Jess McLernon was pulling his leg when she told him he was riding at Royal Ascot.
The 17-year-old, who partners Fahey's Another Touch in the Royal Hunt Cup, has never even visited Ascot, let alone ridden at the royal meeting.
The son of trainer Barry and younger brother of conditional jockey Lorcan, Murtagh is on the most remarkable journey having undergone three major heart operations – the first when he was only ten days old, the most recent only last September.
"I didn't know what Jess was on about," said Murtagh. "She wished me good luck and I thought that was for the few rides I had at Carlisle that evening. Then when she said, 'no, you're riding at Royal Ascot'. I thought she was pulling my leg.
"I cannot put into words how I felt when I found out that Jess was actually telling the truth. To have a ride at Royal Ascot is the stuff that dreams are made of."