No Duel License For Murtagh in Australia

By: Thomas Hackett
August 2nd, 2013

Johnny Murtagh will need to decide whether he wants to be a jockey or a trainer in Australia, if he brings talented stayer Royal Diamond to Melbourne for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.

In Ireland and the United Kingdom Murtagh has a dual license that allows him to train horses as well as ride as a jockey but in Australia such licenses are not allowed.

While Racing Victoria is hopeful that Murtagh will bring Royal Diamond to Australia for a possible tilt at the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), Chairman of Stewards Terry Bailey told Racing Ahead that Murtagh would have to give up one of his roles with the son of King’s Best.

“He would have to work out which one he wants to be,” Bailey said on RSN.

“We don’t have provisions for duel licenses here in Victoria and it would be a matter of whether he wants to train or ride.

“It’s totally up to him he either applies for a visiting jockey’s license or a visiting trainer’s permit.”

Royal Diamond stamped himself as a leading stayer by winning the 2012 Group 1 Irish St. Leger (2816m) and has recently returned to his best form after a disappointing excursion in the United Arab Emirtaes.

The seven-year-old finished seventh in both his starts at Meydan but impressed with a third place finish in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup (2816m) in May before saluting in his first run under the care of Murtagh in the Listed Challenge Stakes (2816m) at Leopardstown a fortnight ago.

Royal Diamond will attempt to win his second straight Irish St. Leger title in September but Tim Jones, racing manager for owner Andrew Tinkler, told The Rating Bureau that the 2013 Melbourne Cup is on the agenda for the gelding.

“He’s in the Irish St Leger and I think he will be given an entry in the Melbourne Cup as that race has been an option for him all year,” Jones said.

“That’s on the table if we decide to go that way, but we’ll see.”

Murtagh previously competed in the 2008 Melbourne Cup as a jockey, riding Irish St.Leger winner Septimus who finished eighteenth behind Viewed.

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