Murtagh predicts 'Battle Royale'

Murtagh predicts 'Battle Royale'

Johnny Murtagh is confident Duke of Marmalade can realise his dream of a Breeders’ Cup Classic victory at Santa Anita on Saturday night.

Murtagh has opted to ride the five-time Group One winner over Ballydoyle stablemate Henrythenavigator.

“I’ve been very lucky and won a lot of good races in Europe, but to come to America and win the Classic, for a European jockey that would be special,” Murtagh said.

“It’s one of the races that if you could have it on your CV that would be the race.

“Down through the years, I’ve always dreamed about winning the Classic, so hopefully this is the year.”

That Henrythenavigator has yet to compete over a mile influenced Murtagh’s decision to ride Duke Of Marmalade.

“The two horses are doing really well, but probably the reason is the Duke has been over the trip before,” added the jockey.

“He’s very tough and I think that’s what you need out here. Henry has so much speed, there’s just a doubt about whether he’ll get that extra two furlongs or not.

“I’m riding (Duke of Marmalade) because he’s guaranteed of getting the trip and it might come into a slog up the straight.

“It’s nice to come over here and race against the best horses in the world - I’m sure the best horse in the world will come out.

“If he (Duke Of Marmalade) hooks up with Curlin at the top of the stretch, I think it will be a Battle Royale.”

More in this Section

Wolfsburg boost European aspirations after shock win at Bayer LeverkusenWolfsburg boost European aspirations after shock win at Bayer Leverkusen

Morecambe defender Christian Mbulu dies aged 23Morecambe defender Christian Mbulu dies aged 23

Joshua Kimmich’s stunning chip sinks Dortmund as Bayern move seven points clearJoshua Kimmich’s stunning chip sinks Dortmund as Bayern move seven points clear

Tyson Fury reveals he has been offered an exhibition bout with Mike Tyson Tyson Fury reveals he has been offered an exhibition bout with Mike Tyson


Lifestyle

The model mum took a coronavirus test in preparation for the procedure.Everything to know about breast implant removal, as Chrissy Teigen says she’s undergoing surgery

Cathal Coughlan is known for his part in Microdisney, but for many people his best output came with the harder-edged band he formed afterwards, writes Ed PowerB-Side the Leeside: The Fatima Mansions and the story of 'Viva Dead Ponies'

Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford recently released a new single ‘Mariana’ available to buy on Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to Safe Ireland.Question of Taste: Singer-songwriter Emma Langford

These jammy thumbprint cookies are dangerously moreish.Jammy thumbprint cookies recipe

More From The Irish Examiner