Murtagh Parts Ways With Ballydoyle

Johnny Murtagh has announced his decision that he will not be renewing his contract to ride as stable jockey for Coolmore and Ballydoye in 2011.

Johnny Murtagh

Johnny Murtagh

Since beginning his contract in 2008, the jockey has primarily ridden for Aidan O'Brien and has been very successful for the operation in that time.

An announcement given on behalf of Murtagh stated, "Johnny has spoken to Mr John Magnier, Mr Derrick Smith, Mr Michael Tabor and Mr Aidan O'Brien today and informed them that he will not be renewing his contract to ride as stable jockey to Coolmore and Ballydoyle next season, 2011.

"He would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Magnier, Mr Smith, Mr Tabor and Mr O'Brien for the wonderful and successful three years that they had together and wish all of them and their families every success in the future.

"He would also like to thank Mr David Wachman, Mr Charles O'Brien and Mr Tommy Stack, who also trained Coolmore horses, and again wish them every success next season."

Pat Smullen is the 6-4 favourite with William Hill to replace Murtagh, followed by Christophe Soumillion at 7-2 and Ryan Moore at 5-1.

Tony Kenny, representing William Hill said, "We received numerous requests for the market on Sunday morning and at that stage we had a feeling there was something going on down in Ballydoyle.

"Pat Smullen remains the favourite for the position, although we did see solid money for both Kieren Fallon and Colm O'Donoghue on Monday afternoon."

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