Murtagh fails in Fairyhouse return

Johnny Murtagh drew a blank from four rides on his return from a back injury at Fairyhouse.

Johnny Murtagh drew a blank from four rides on his return from a back injury at Fairyhouse.

His first ride was on Michael Halford’s Sampers, who was third in the Ratoath Maiden, and he was then second on Dainty for David Wachman in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

But that was as good as it got as he was unplaced on the favourite Dragon’s Den in the Ashbourne Nursery Handicap, while Wachman’s Lost Generation disappointed in the Oldcastle Rated Race.

He took the time off to have physiotherapy after sustaining the injury in a fall at Dundalk on September 6.

Although he carried on for a few days, he felt it best to take a break after riding at the Curragh a week later.

“I was a bit tender when I returned originally, but the short break and physiotherapy have me back 100% fit and I am looking forward to the weekend,” said Murtagh.

He is looking forward to renewing his partnership with Sussex Stakes winner Rip Van Winkle in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

“I rode work on Rip Van Winkle this morning and can’t wait to ride him again,” he added.

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