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Johnny Murtagh (flat)Johnny Murtagh (flat)
Born: May 14, 1970
Nationality: Irish
Height: 5ft 6ins
Regular jockey for: Aidan O'Brien

Racing Background
  • Before deciding to become a professional jockey, Johnny was tempted to join Blackburn Rovers’ youth football team. However, after considerable persuasion from several friends, he joined the Irish Apprentice Jockey’s School, in Co. Kildare.
  • He rode his first winner, Chicago Style, at Limerick in 1987.
  • Johnny won approximately £10 million in prize money for owners between 2000 and 2003. He has also been the champion jockey in Ireland on three separate occasions.
  • Sinndar is the best horse Johnny has ever ridden. He partnered him to win both the Vodafone Derby and Irish Derby, as well as the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, all in 2000.
  • Sinndar is not the only horse Johnny has ridden to win the Derby. In 2005 he romped clear of the field for a very impressive win on Motivator trained by Michael Bell for the Elite Racing Club.
  • Johnny was also the regular jockey for talented filly Soviet Song. In 2004, the partnership won two Group 1 races, including the Cantor Odds Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Here she beat a strong field of colts, including the 2,000 Guineas winner Haafhd.
  • Johnny has great respect for leading Irish trainer John Oxx, who over the years has provided him with rides on many top class horses.
  • Johnny has been lucky not to sustain any major injuries through racing. However, he had a minor set back when straining his back at Ascot in 2003.
  • Johnny has won almost every Major race in flat racing, and 2008 was an annus mirabilis as he rode 19 Group One winners in one season, partnering some of the greatest horses of our time including Mastercraftsman, Yeats, Henrythenavigator and Duke of Marmalade
  • 2009 was no less impressive with 10 Group 1 victories including the Irish Derby, QEII Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Ascot Gold Cup, St James Palace Stakes and an Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Double.

Other Hobbies and Interests
  • Johnny was once the Irish boys’ under-14 boxing champion. He also enjoys playing golf, and currently has a handicap of 15.
  • He is a Manchester United supporter, and if could be anyone else in the sporting world, would like to be Roy Keane.
  • His star-sign is Taurus.
  • Johnny’s favourite singer is Robbie Williams, whilst his favourite film is ‘Harry Potter’.
  • He likes to relax by playing golf with his wife, Orla.
  • He identifies his only bad habit as a tendency to eat more than he should!
Careers in Racing