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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Murtagh takes over from Lyons as trainer of Qatar Racing's Lightening Quick

Johnny Murtagh is the new trainer of Lightening Quick
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Johnny Murtagh will take charge of Qatar Racing's exciting filly Lightening Quick, Sheikh Fahad’s racing manager David Redvers revealed on Wednesday following the powerful operation's split with former trainer Ger Lyons.

Lyons, who sent out Lightening Quick to win the Group 3 Athasi Stakes at Naas last week, has lost ten horses in total, the majority of whom will be sent to Britain.

Murtagh is the only Irish-based trainer to benefit from the fallout which on Tuesday was described by Redvers as a “difference of opinion”.

Lightening Quick: won the Group 3 Athasi Stakes this month
"Lightening Quick has gone to Johnny Murtagh,” said Redvers on Wednesday. “He’s got three in total and the others have gone back to England to be trained by our core group of trainers – David Simcock, Andrew Balding and Ralph Beckett – who have all been with us from the early stages.”

Murtagh recorded four wins for Qatar Racing in 2017 and has already hit the mark for the outfit this season with Golden Spell landing a sprint handicap at Navan before finishing a creditable second when upped to Listed level in the Polonia Stakes at Naas this month.

The former champion jockey knows Lightening Quick's family well, having ridden the three-year-old's dam Lightening Pearl – also trained by Lyons – to win the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes in 2011, which was a breakthrough top-flight win for the trainer and owners.

Redvers added: “Johnny's trained horses for us since he took out his licence and he’s done very well for us. He used to ride for us a lot.

“He's been sent the filly on the basis that Sheikh Fahad believes he’s the best man for the job.

“As well as Lightening Quick, we’ve sent him two two-year-olds. There were only ten horses [in training with Lyons] in total so there weren’t that many."

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Sheikh Fahad believes he’s the best man for the job
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