Godolphin to support Johnny Murtagh
GODOLPHIN has joined the Aga Khan as new patrons of trainer Johnny Murtagh.
Last October it was revealed that the Aga Khan would be sending Murtagh “a draft of yearlings” and this week Godolphin Ireland managing director Joe Osborne told The Irish Field that it had sent two horses to Murtagh’s Co Kildare stables.
Osborne said: “We have 11 in training in Ireland at the moment: nine with Willie McCreery and two with Johnny Murtagh. We had a reduced number of yearlings go into training in Europe at the end of last year, just four to Ireland, all of which went to Willie. Johnny has two three-year-olds, both which had been with John Oxx up to the time of his retirement.”
Earlier this week Murtagh confirmed he had appointed Ben Coen as his number one jockey. Following the yard’s breakthrough Group 1 winner with Champers Elysees last September, Murtagh has built 15 new boxes and now has a full house of 70 horses at Fox Covert Stables.
Of 19-year-old Coen, Murtagh said: “In Ireland now at the moment there’s some very good young riders and I feel Ben is right up there with them. He just needs a chance and hopefully we’ll be able to give him the chances this year.
“I think he’s the real deal. If he can keep his weight in check and keep on improving, which he has to do, we think he’s right up there with the best in Ireland.”