Johnny Murtagh : Horse Racing Jockey
Johnny Murtagh was born in 1970 on the 14th of May and is known as a flat racing jockey in the United Kingdom. As a youngster his interests and talent lay with football, his desire was to join the Blackburn Rovers F.C but he was soon persuaded to join the Irish Apprentice Jockey's School located in County Kildare, Ireland. He is married to Orla and together they have had two children.
Johnny Murtagh is considered to be one of the top freelance jockeys in the world. As a flat race jockey Murtagh is considered very underweight at 8 st 8lbs or 54.5kgs. He naturally cannot meet the required weight but has been approved a National Hunt license, which gives him the opportunity to ride for several years in the Hurdle races. He enjoys the Hurdle races especially since the required rate is a lot closer to his natural weight and he has been able to achieve three wins at the Epsom Derby and overall has found it easier to excel on the big day of the race.
At Limerick in 1987, Johnny had his first win on Chicago Style and since then has been named as Champion Jockey of the Year in Ireland three times. He also established his position as a racing elite when he won his second Derby victory on High Chaparral. The race was amazing, with thirty-two year old Murtagh taking up a lead of two furlongs while trying to hold off the pre-race favorite Hawk Wing, High Chaparrals stablemate, with an eventual win.
Murtagh was an apprentice to Champion Irish trainer John Oxx but that soon came to an end in 2000 when he was warned over allegations that he had tried to cheat the scales. This was the beginning of Johnny Murtagh's steady decline to the point of him developing a drinking problem and leaving the sport for a time. Five years later Murtagh sorted himself out and with the renewed support of John Oxx and Aga Khan an owner-breeder, he became the Irish champion jockey three times in 1995, 1996 and 1998.