Murtagh to Keep Melbourne Cup Instructions to a Minimum

November 2, 2014

Murtagh to Keep Melbourne Cup Instructions to a Minimum

Star Irish jockey-turned-trainer Johnny Murtagh has complete faith in old friend Damien Oliver who is engaged to ride Mutual Regard, one of two 2014 Melbourne Cup horses for the stable, on Tuesday in Flemington Race 7.

Damien Oliver

Damien Oliver has the ride on the Johnny Murtagh-trained Mutual Regard in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup 2014 field. Photo: Sarah Ebbett.

Murtagh last featured in a Melbourne Cup field back in 2008 when the then hoop rode the Aidan O’Brien-trained 58.5kg top weight Septimus to a disappointing 18th behind the Bart Cummings-trained Viewed in the ‘race that stops a nation’.

This year The Curragh-based Murtagh is back with two chances in the coveted $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).

Murtagh saddles-up Mutual Regard from barrier 12 with Oliver booked for the ride as well as the longer priced outsider Royal Diamond from gate six for Steven Arnold who shoots for his first Melbourne Cup winner.

Despite the nice gate, King’s Best nine-year-old Royal Diamond is a $51 roughie in the latest Melbourne Cup odds at

The nine-time winner debuts down under this week not having raced since carrying a hefty 62kg to a distant sixth behind last year’s Melbourne Cup sixth placed Brown Panther in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2800m).

He’ll appreciate the step up to 3200m, which he’s got a gun record over (4-1-0-2), and could prove better than his price also dropping back 6.5kg to 55.5kg.

“He’s been moving great,” Murtagh said of Royal Diamond.

“He’s a horse that gets up on the bit and travels really strongly.

“I think he’ll outrun his 50-1 odds.”

Mutual Regard meanwhile carries half-a-kilo less and is one of the top fancies in Melbourne Cup betting paying $13 to win the world’s richest handicap.

Royal Diamond 2014 Melbourne Cup Jockey Silks

Royal Diamond 2014 Melbourne Cup Jockey Silks

Last time out the Henrando six-year-old beat home Lord Van Percy, also down under for the Melbourne Cup but balloted out after being scratched from the Lexus Stakes field on Derby Day, with 59kg on his back in the Ebor Handicap (2800m) at York.

It was a good effort there and one the bookies are tipping to improve on when Mutual Regard runs in Australia under race conditions for the first time in the Melbourne Cup.

He is another European proven over the two miles having won two and placed second in another two of his five 3200m runs, the latest of which was a victory with 60.5kg on June 28 in Ireland.

Oliver has the ride and is after his fourth ‘Loving Trophy’ following victories aboard Doriemus (1995), Media Puzzle (2012) and Fiorente (2013) 12 months ago for Gai Waterhouse.

Murtagh has a lot of respect for Oliver who he has come up against riding plenty of times over the years, and won’t be telling him how to do his job on Tuesday.

“I’ve known Damien for a long time,” he said.

“He’s probably one of the great jockey’s I’ve ridden against over the years.

“He’s got great experience and he’s won the race three times so I won’t be giving him many instructions.”

From the barrier, which hasn’t produced a Melbourne Cup winner in over 30 years, Murtagh is hoping Mutual Regard can slot into a midfield run before having too much in the tank for his rivals down the famous Flemington straight.

It will be similar ride then for Royal Diamond in barrier six, another luckless barrier in recent history without a winner since 1983.

“Both horses stay the trip well,” Murtagh noted.

“I’d say they’d roll forward and…may the best man win.

“They’re in great form and have settled into Werribee very well.

“The Melbourne Cup is one of those great races around the world.

“I just hope they get there on Tuesday and run the race. What more can we do?”

To back the Murtagh – Oliver combo in the Melbourne Cup field on Tuesday visit and lock in the hottest odds plus a Megafecta giving you the chance to turn $1 into $10 million this Cup Day!

Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2018 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.

Spring Racing

Rogerson Dreams of 2018 Melbou...

The Everest 2018 Field to Feat...

The Everest 2018 Field to Feature Redzel

Inaugural champion Redzel has officially secured his position in the 2018 The...

2018 The Everest Field Takes S...

2018 The Everest Field Takes Shape: In Her Time Confirmed

She missed out on a shot at the world’s richest race on turf last spring but...

Trapeze Artist Secures 2018 Th...

Trapeze Artist Secures 2018 The Everest Slot for Aquis

The first official slot in The Everest 2018 field has been confirmed with...

El Dorado Dreaming of 2018 VRC...

El Dorado Dreaming of 2018 VRC Oaks Bid

Ben Smith’s ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winning filly El Dorado Dreaming is in...

Horse Racing Today

2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup Betti...

2018 Queensland Oaks Betting U...

2018 Queensland Oaks Betting Update

The Chris Waller domination of the 2018 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival will...

Baker snug about Champagne Cud...

Baker snug about Champagne Cuddles chances in 2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup

Trainer Bjorn Baker is snug about the chances of his three year old filly...

Capacity field of 16 for 2018 ...

Capacity field of 16 for 2018 Queensland Oaks: Waller has 5

A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000...

A win by English in 2018 Kings...

A win by English in 2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup could secure an Everest slot

Doomben 10,000 winner English could be racing for a slot in the 2018 The...

Race Results

Viewed Victorious in Caulfield Cup

Race 1 Result – $101 500 AGL Renewable Energy Stakes – She’s Got Gears Wins

Race 2 – $101,500 Schiavello Plate – Avienus Wins

Race 3 – $101 500 Lavazza A Modo Mio – Linton Street Wins

Race 4 Results – $151,500 Listed Herald Sun Stakes – Strawberry Field Wins

Race Previews

2009 Caulfield Cup Barrier Draw Announced

Who Are the Top Contenders for Tomorrow’s Caulfield Cup?

Victoria Derby in sight for Onemorenomore

2009 Melbourne Cup Field

Eclipse Stakes Final Field & Preview

Fields & Form

Can Kelinni Win Sydney Cup 2013 for the Punters?

Moroney Gets into Queensland Derby 2013 Rhythm

Buffering Draws 7 – 2013 BTC Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw

SA Fillies Classic 2013 Field Released

13 two-year-olds in 2013 Champagne Classic Field