Murtagh was keen to use his good draw in stall 22 but was some way off the early pace set by the American Gentlemans Code.
But Murtagh weaved his way through the field two furlongs out and did not really ask for a big effort until he joined the overseas raider at the head of affairs. He quickened up impressively to win by two and a quarter lengths to win as the 9-4 favourite, having been available at 4-1 in the morning.
Murtagh said: “It’s so difficult to win here and it’s such a special place. I’m lucky to ride great horses. I got the call to ride this horse and it’s sweet.”
Murtagh, meanwhile, will ride joint favourite Deacon Blues in the Wokingham on Saturday.
Hayley Turner had been expected to take the ride on the James Fanshawe-trained four-year-old but is riding Margot Did at Ayr on Saturday.
- EDDIE AHERN picked up a winning spare ride as he guided Veiled to victory in the Ascot Stakes for Nicky Henderson.
Kieren Fallon was forced to miss the mount after jarring his neck on the gallops in the morning, and the 11-2 chance was always travelling strongly in the two-and-a-half-mile contest.
As last year’s winner Junior dropped away, it was left for Veiled and Ermyn Lodge to fight it out and it was the former who took the victory by two and three-quarter lengths.
- GREEN DESTINY, one of the leading contenders for today’s Royal Hunt Cup, is set to miss the mile handicap.
Trainer William Haggas instead plans to run the four-year-old in the Listed Wolferton Handicap on Friday.