Johnny Murtagh to ride less in England

Johnny Murtagh is to follow fellow Irish jockey Ruby Walsh in cutting the number of rides he takes in England in response to the new whip guidelines introduced by the BHA.

Murtagh, who is retained by the Aga Khan in Ireland, has said that he will only travel to England for Group races and that his boss John Oxx advised him not to travel to England for ‘ordinary days racing’.

The jockey said “”You won’t see me in the lead-up to major meetings like Royal Ascot and races like the Derby any more.

“I’ll probably draw the line at Group races only. It’s just too risky. I can’t be picking up five-day bans or worse for committing the most minor of riding offences.”

Commenting on Murtagh’s decision Professional Jockeys Association chief executive Kevin Darley said: “I have huge sympathy for Johnny, Ruby and all the Irish boys. They risk picking up long bans for minor offences in Britain that will stop them riding at home. It’s understandable that they are going to restrict themselves to only the top races in this country.”


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