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Johnny Murtagh
(AFP/Getty)


As if four Group One winners and a Group Two to boot were not enough of a reward, Johnny Murtagh also picked up the London Clubs International Charity Trophy for the leading Royal Ascot jockey for his six of the best.

The Irishman claimed the prize in 2001 and 2002 and his formidable new association with trainer Aidan O’Brien saw him return to the top spot this week.

Sporting Life reports that Macarthur’s gutsy victory in the Hardwicke Stakes on Saturday ended Steve Drowne’s hopes of overhauling Johnny Murtagh, who had dominated the meeting’s feature events aboard Aidan O’Brien’s stars.

He partnered Yeats (brother to Summerhill Stud’s Solskjaer) for his memorable third consecutive Gold Cup win, Haradasun (Queen Anne), Duke Of Marmalade (Prince Of Wales’s Stakes), the brilliant Henrythenavigator in the St James’s Palace and rounded things off on Honolulu in the closing Queen Alexandra Stakes.

“You have to pinch yourself to say this is really happening,” said Johnny Murtagh.

“As you can see from my reaction this week, I am really enjoying my job and I’m working with brilliant people.

“I thought it might be a good week coming here but you never believe it unless it happens and the winners just kept rolling in.”

Aidan O’Brien again received the prize for Royal Ascot’s top trainer.

“All the winners this week have been very special but it is hard to get away from Yeats,” he reflected.

“To win two Gold Cups was amazing but to win three - I just can’t describe it.

“The Duke, Henry and Haradasun were all super but everybody was behind Yeats and the atmosphere was unbelievable.

“The whole week has been amazing and I have to thank everyone at home.”

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