Tuesday 23 January 2018

Murtagh opens trainer account

Johnny Murtagh saddled his first winner as a trainer when Benbecula ran out an easy victor of the August Festival 15th to 18th Rated Race at Tramore.

Murtagh only had his first runners last weekend at the Irish Guineas meeting and while he was out of luck in the Classic, he opened his account just seven days later.

Always in the box seat, Ben Curtis kicked for home some way out and the result was never in doubt inside the final furlong.

The 6/4 favourite beat Lady Imola by six lengths.

"He won well and he's been very consistent," said Curtis. "He handled the ground and the track. He's a grand horse for the future over hurdles. It's great to get a winner for Johnny – his first. I ride out for him every morning."

Murtagh afterwards tweeted: "Delighted to get off the mark. Thanks to all involved."

Valerie Keatley, representing the yard, said: "The ground made a big difference and hopefully that's the first of many. Tommy [Carmody, original holder of the licence] is still on the team. He's there every morning too."

Irish Independent

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