Murtagh stars with Cork treble

Johnny Murtagh limbered up for the two-day Guineas meeting at Newmarket with a fine 370-1 treble at Cork, highlighted by the Listed success of Contest.

Having set the ball rolling aboard Ohiyesa in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden, Murtagh then bagged the feature race for David Wachman.

Sent off at odds of 10-1 for the six-furlong Cork Stakes, Contest came from last to first within a heartbeat to defeat British raider Tax Free by a length and a quarter.

“He’s a grand horse and will be a better four-year-old than a three-year-old,” reflected County Tipperary-based Wachman.

“Contest promised a lot last year but lost his way after going to Sandown, where he finished third to Hoh Mike in a Listed race.

“He looks to be coming back to himself now and has shown a bit of sparkle since he came back in the spring.

“We will run him now in all the good Listed events and he should be competitive in all those sort of races.”

Murtagh completed his treble when the Aidan O’Brien-trained Ice Queen (13-2) showed an encouraging turn of foot to land the Newmarket Fillies Maiden.

The on-song rider takes the mount of Henrythenavigator in the stanjamesuk.com 2000 Guineas on Saturday and Kitty Matcham in Sunday’s 1000 Guineas.

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