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Murtagh Announces Retirement From Race-Riding
World renowned champion jockey Johnny Murtagh has announced his retirement from competitive riding to focus on his training career, reports 1.skysports.com. Crowned champion Irish jockey on five occasions, the 43YO is widely regarded as one of the greatest riders of the modern era. "The training side of things is getting bigger all the time and I wasn't happy giving the riding 50 per cent and the training 50 per cent," Murtagh told Press Association Sport. "It's the right time to call it a day with the riding and put everything into the training side of things." During a brilliant career Murtagh rode over 100 Gr1 winners at home and abroad, and was successful in each of the five Irish Classics at least once, riding four Irish Derby winners and six Irish Oaks winners, including last year's Irish Oaks heroine Chicquita. He also rode three English Derby winners in Sinndar (2000), High Chaparral (2002) and Motivator, and was successful in the 2,000 Guineas twice aboard Rock Of Gibraltar (2002) and Henrythenavigator (2008). His numerous Royal Ascot winners include five Gold Cups, including two victories aboard the exceptional Yeats. "I've done extremely well and when you look at the list of horses I've ridden, there have been some brilliant horses," said Murtagh. It would be unfair to pick out one, but there were a number of special days. My first Derby win aboard Sinndar was obviously a huge thing and then Yeats was an incredible horse to be associated with." Murtagh also established successful partnerships with some of the biggest stables in the sport, riding as stable jockey for the likes of John Oxx and Aidan O'Brien. "I was very lucky to ride for some great people. I got along with them all and still do. It's been brilliant," he said. "I didn't ride a horse until I was 15 and it's been fantastic, but it's now time to move on to the next chapter in my life."