Kalanisi and Johnny Murtagh beat Montjeu in the 2000 Champion Stakes Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Kalanisi and Johnny Murtagh beat Montjeu in the 2000 Champion Stakes
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Multiple Classic winning jockey Johnny Murtagh has announced his retirement from the saddle as he turns his attention towards his successful training yard.

Murtagh, 43, who rode as well as ever last season, was 5 times Irish Champion Jockey, rode over 100 Group 1 winners and 3 Derby winners.

Murtagh told Press Association Sport: “The training side of things is getting bigger all the time and I wasn’t happy giving the riding 50 per cent and the training 50 per cent.

“It’s the right time to call it a day with the riding and put everything into the training side of things.”

“I’ve done extremely well and when you look at the list of horses I’ve ridden, there have been some brilliant horses,” said Murtagh

“It would be unfair to pick out one, but there were a number of special days.

“My first Derby win aboard Sinndar was obviously a huge thing and then Yeats was an incredible horse to be associated with.

“I suppose winning on Sole Power in the King’s Stand last year was massive for me as well. Just the way the race went and getting up on the line – you know when you get it right.

“Riding and training Royal Diamond to win on Champions Day last year at Ascot (in the Long Distance Cup). That was something very special as well.

“I was very lucky to ride for some great people. I got along with them all and still do. It’s been brilliant,” said the jockey.

“When you are riding you can take all the big winners for granted, but when you sit back and think about it, I’ve been very lucky.

“I’m coming up 44 this year and my first Group One was on Manntari for Mr Oxx in 1993 (National Stakes). Someone texted me earlier saying I had 105 Group One winners, but my wife thinks it’s 107.

“I’ve been all over the world riding, I’ve met some lovely people and it’s been a great experience.”

Murtagh took out his training licence in May 2013, taking over the reins from Tommy Carmody at Fox Covert Stables in County Kildare.

Murtagh said: “We have 45 horses in training at the moment, including 20 two-year-olds and we have a few new owners.

“I have the same expectations as when I was riding – the standards are still the same. If we get a bit of luck and a good horse comes along, we’ll get there.”