Bored of Free Lunches, Johnny Murtagh Aims to Gobble up the Irish Champions Weekend Group One Glory

Johnny Murtagh is the former Group One-winning jockey who turned to be a trainer. He is aiming to pick up more than a free lunch as he finalises the training of what is believed to be a strong team for the Irish Champions Weekend.

Sitting in the 5th place of the Ireland trainer’s table, Johnny Murtagh is heading into the two-day extravaganza at the Curragh and Leopardstown, feeling very happy and confident. He is now eager to make a mark at one of the biggest meetings of the Irish Flat season. He will meet a group of serious contenders across the two days.

Johnny Murtagh retired from the saddle in 2014, the year that the Irish Champions Weekend was established. And he believes that the magnitude of the maiden winner wouldn’t be lost from him at the fixture. 

Murtagh is After More than Just Free Lunch

In an Interview, Johnny Murtagh said that he loves the whole concept. For the past couple of years, it was depressing for him when the only reason for going to it was because he was invited for a free lunch by someone. He recalls sitting up there and telling friends how good it is but now, the day he was eagerly waiting for is just around the corner.

According to Johnny Murtagh, this is a big deal, the All-Ireland Final, and it is like the Formula One or FA Cup final to him. While at the previous event, two years ago, he said to his wife that they both need to be having runners at such meetings. The two-day meeting will make the biggest event in the history of Irish racing with thrilling races, top horses running, and all the best jockeys and trainers available.

The Preparations

In the past six weeks, Johnny Murtagh and his team have had an eye on the Irish Champions Weekend. He has been working hard to get the team in one piece, and a total of ten horses from his team will be available in the event. Murtagh will compete against several experienced contenders across the weekend and would be happy with a win, whatever the class.

Winning a race in the Irish Champions Weekend is his primary goal, and does not matter what the competition or race is. For him, to win any race in the competition is one of the goals that he has been looking to achieve, not only in the past two years but also the last couple of months. Johnny Murtagh believes that he has one of the most competitive teams, and he is looking forward for at least one win.


Murtagh believes that the equine, as well as the human crops, have the opportunity to shine, and that is what the Irish Champions Weekend is all about. The best horses from England, France, Japan, and other parts of Europe will be competing against each other.


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