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Murtagh misses out in Sherzam comeback

JOHNNY Murtagh was out of luck on his comeback ride from injury at Gowran Park.

THE multiple Irish champion jockey finished fourth on Sherzam for owner Andrew Tinkler and trainer Tommy Carmody in the Rooftop Restaurant at Gowran Park Nursery.

Murtagh got Sherzam into a challenging position despite the filly's wide draw and moved into second place briefly in the straight.

But the 3/1 joint-favourite was unable to go through with her effort in the closing stages as market rival Horizon Sky took the spoils for trainer David Wachman and jockey Wayne Lordan.

It was Murtagh's only ride of the day and his first since the news last week that his contract with owner and breeder the Aga Khan had been terminated with immediate effect.

Murtagh suffered facial injuries when unshipped from Lottie Dod prior to the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on August 12.

Trainer John Oxx confirmed on Monday he would continue to use Murtagh on his horses not under the ownership of the Aga Khan, and he is set to partner Born To Sea in Saturday's Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.


Meanwhile, John Murphy introduced a promising youngster in High Octane who made a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C&G) Median Auction Maiden.

Supported from an early 33/1 down to 10/1, the bargain buy showed a neat turn of foot for Seamie Heffernan to beat Military Device by a length and three-quarters.

"He's been ready to run for quite a while but we've been waiting on the ground," said the Co Cork trainer.

"We think he's quite special and on faster ground he'll be better. He was quite green when he got there and he'll come on for that.

"He's in the Racing Post Trophy (at Doncaster) - we think that much of him."