Murtagh set for Ponte

Pearl draw for Johnny

Last Updated: 30/05/12 4:17pm

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Sky Bet

Johnny Murtagh will take to the skies on Friday evening in order to continue his partnership with the Royal Ascot-bound New Pearl at Pontefract.

Murtagh is booked to ride leading Investec Oaks candidate Vow as well as Moon Pearl in Epsom's final race, the Investec Asset Management Handicap at 5.25, and will have a couple of hours to make the Diamond Jubilee Youngsters Conditions Stakes in South Yorkshire.

Trainer David Brown prepared Frederick Engels to win the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last year in the colours of Pearl Bloodstock and after that colt was sold to Hong Kong, Brown was rewarded with further support by owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani.

One of the replacements was the grey New Pearl, who Murtagh helped record an impressive debut victory over five furlongs at the Newmarket Guineas meeting.

"I'm sure he'll get six furlongs and Johnny thought he'd get at least six but if he's going to go for the Coventry Stakes I'd like to be certain he stays and to educate him a bit further," Brown said.

"He came out of the race great, he's definitely come on since Newmarket and it's exciting to get him back out again.

"Johnny is coming up from Epsom by helicopter to ride him. I was talking to the Sheikh's people and I said I'd like him to ride if he can. They said 'no problem, we'll get him there'."

Brown now has half a dozen of horses for the influential young owner, under a combination of the Pearl Bloodstock and Qatar Bloodstock banners.

"They are very honourable people - after Frederick Engels was sold they said there would be more horses, and there were," Brown said.

"They are a good bunch and there are a couple of nice fillies to come out soon."

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