Indus Valley denied at Lingfield despite family support
Last Updated: 05/03/14 6:38pm
Murtagh: In the stands at Lingfield
Johnny Murtagh cut a nervous figure in the stands as he watched his daughter Caroline steer Indus Valley home for fourth on her debut ride in Britain at Lingfield.
It was only a week ago that the giant of the Irish scene announced his retirement from the saddle and he came down to Surrey to lend moral support to the teenager in the Ladbrokes All-Weather "Hands And Heels" Apprentice Series Handicap.
Indus Valley, the 9/4 favourite, had already earned his own small footnote in history as the third of four winners in January's Barney Curley-inspired gamble, and Des Donovan's gelding was headstrong and failed to properly settle before sneaking between horses in the closing stages to finish a couple of lengths behind the Ali Rawlinson and Tijuca (11-4).
Caroline Murtagh, who had claimed a second from five previous rides at Dundalk, said: "That was a brilliant experience - he was a really good ride."
Her father, who is now concentrating on his training career, said: "It's a lot easier riding them! You can tell them what to expect, but when it starts, it's over so quick.
"I've told her it'll be 20 rides (before getting the hang of it).
"I've a few for her to ride during the summer. She's is on a gap year from studying before she goes off to college."
Mindurownbusiness earned a glowing report from his connections when looking quite a smart newcomer in the 32Red Casino Maiden Stakes.
Sent off at 9/4 for the David Simcock team, he readily brushed off the experienced Brigliadoro and even-money favourite Sherston in the hands of Jim Crowley.
Simcock's assistant Tom Clover said: "We thought he'd win first-time-out and he's a horse we think an awful lot of.
"David's do tend to need their first run so you'd hope he's open to a lot of improvement.
"I don't know if David will want to save him for the grass, but it's just around the corner now, anyway."
Ghost Train, whose only previous victory was in a Wolverhampton classified event for Mark Johnston, is now with local trainer Tim McCarthy and looked to have done the hard work in the Download The Ladbrokes App Handicap when passing Bertie Blu Boy.
Once in front, the 3/1 joint-favourite started looking around and nearly stopped, with Hayley Turner managing to help him pass the line half a length in front of Alfresco.
"I think he was a bit surprised to be in that position," said Turner.
"The last two times he has been second here and the winner has had an easy lead, so he's genuine."
Unfortunately for Turner, she was found guilty of careless riding for allowing Ghost Train to drift left and was suspended for three days (March 19-21).