Meath man lands a treble at Leopardstown

There are no guarantees in life, business or sport. Nice guys don't enjoy success. Some of the observations you might hear on a days walk.

Meath man Johnny Murtagh was well used to returning victorious to the winners enclosure on several major days during his career in the saddle, but increasingly we are seeing him in this type of shot.


Overall a great night at the south Dublin venue for Johnny as he bagged a treble.

The card got off to great start for him with Parkers Hill under Niall McCullagh first past the post in the opener.

Then True Valour justified favouritism with a smooth success in the Ballycorus Stakes.

Sent off the 7-4 favourite, his task was made easier when St Patrick's Day, a brother to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and due to make his debut for Aidan O'Brien, was withdrawn after getting restless in the stalls.

As a result Chris Hayes always had the leading duo of Fas and Medicine Jack in his sights and he never looked in any bother. True Valour quickened clear impressively and was kept up to his work to beat Smash Williams by two and a quarter lengths with Ardhoomey third.

Then came the hat trick.

Circling Moon provided the Curragh-based handler with his treble in the Leopardstown Ladies Golf Club Handicap.

Conor Hoban did the steering on the 8-1 shot, and though runner-up Touch Of Gold tried late on, she could get no closer than three-quarters of a length at the line.

'I had great days here as a jockey but that has to be one of the great days of my training career. It’s the first time I’ve had a treble,' said Murtagh. 

Johnny's yard is on the Curragh in County Kildare.

A native of Bohermeen, Kells, County Meath, he started his racing career here on the Curragh with John Oxx and rode his first winner at Limerick in 1987.

A Champion apprentice in his second season and Irish Champion jockey on five separate occasions, he knows what it takes to win.

Johnny has been associated with many great horses, such as Henrythenavigator, Yeats, Rip Van Winkle, Sinndar, Mastercraftsman and Ridgewood Pearl to name a few, as well as top class trainers Aidan O’Brien, John Oxx and Micheal Stoute.

Throughout his glittering career in the saddle Johnny amassed 106 Group winners and over 3,000 winners.

His new chapter as a trainer is certainly going in the right direction and good luck to him!