Wednesday 22 January 2020

Murtagh aiming to begin training career with Classic success

Fort Knox could represent new trainer Johnny Murtagh in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday.

Murtagh, who has stated his intention to continue riding, will this week take over from Tommy Carmody at his yard on the Curragh after he was granted a training licence by the Irish Turf Club.

He is likely to aim to hit the ground running with Fort Knox, whose impressive victory in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial in April prompted Sheikh Mohammed to buy him from Andrew Tinkler.

Stablemate Ask Dad has been supplemented.

Richard Hannon, Jim Bolger and Aidan O'Brien have strong contenders among the 19 horses left in the frame.

Hannon is sending over Newmarket third Van Der Neer and Olympic Glory, who was undone by the draw in the French Guineas.

Bolger can call on Loch Garman and Trading Leather, who both finished second in recent Derby trials.

O'Brien has Cristoforo Colombo and Mars, who were just out of the placings at Newmarket.

All three trainers have other possibles, with Hannon able to run Havana Gold, who performed well in the French equivalent.

Bolger also has Leitir Mor, Einsteins Folly and Wexford Opera engaged, while O'Brien has left in Magician, Gale Force Ten, George Vancouver, Forester, Flying The Flag and Pedro The Great.

The Andrew Oliver-trained First Cornerstone could make his reappearance after a good season as a two-year-old.

PA Media

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