Johnny Murtagh’s contract for leading owner and breeder the Aga Khan has been terminated.
Murtagh is currently out if action after a suffering a hairline fracture to a small bone under his eye. This came when the 42-year-old was kicked in the face before the Phoenix Cup at Curragh by his mount.
Those assessing Horse racing betting at Bet Victor will note how he will now no longer be the first jockey for his owner after his contract has been terminated with immediate effect.
Murtagh was signed up for a second stint with Aga Khan in November 2010 after leaving his position as the stable jockey with Aiden O’Brien at Ballydoyle.
His most memorable time with Aga Khan would have been back in his first spell in 2000, where he was triumphant in both the Arc and the Derby on Sinndar, who was trained by John Oxx.
The Irishman then also won the French Oaks this season with Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Valyra.
When asked about the situation, Aga Khan’s Irish stud farm manager Pat Downes admitted: “I can confirm it is true.
“I don’t have a whole lot more to say, other than there were differences between the parties and it was agreed that we would part.”
Murtagh himself was quite clearly upset with the decision but was quick to thank the people that he has worked with.
“I was informed yesterday afternoon that my contract to ride for His Highness the Aga Khan was being terminated with immediate effect.” He said
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Highness and his staff at his studs in Ireland and France for the very successful years we have had together, and to sincerely wish them every success in the future.” Murtagh added.
Pundits at Bet Victor have been discussing how The Aga Khan has recently renewed the contract of Christophe-Patrice Lemaire to ride his horses in France until the end of 2013.
Lemaire, who has been a member of the Aga Khan since 2010, has had a very good week as he won two group ones in the Aga’s whilst riding Bayrir in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park and Shareta in the Yorkshire Oaks.