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Brilliant Starspangledbanner Claims Victory in July Cup but Johnny Murtagh Landed With Ban


London, England -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/14/2010 -- Jockey Johnny Murtagh Group One celebrations turned sour as victory on Starspangledbanner in the July Cup came with a six-day ban that forces him out of the King George at Ascot and the first two days of Glorious Goodwood.

Murtagh was suspended for a careless shift early on that sparked interference on his way to landing the race by a neck over Equiano.

The jockey was due to ride Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco in the King George later this month English Derby hero Workforce.

At least Murtagh has the prospect of unexpectedly still riding Starspangledbanner to perk him up as discussions to extend the sprintes career continued on Friday night.

When his Coolmore Stud owners purchased their 2-1 winner from Australia, the plan was to briefly race here to increase worldwide stallion appeal.

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But, after adding to his Golden Jubilee success, you sense that even an operation as richly-endowed with talent as Coolmore cant quite believe what they have got their hands on.

To take part in the Australian breeding season, Starspangledbanner needed to go into quarantine at midnight on Friday night.

But a shot at the Coolmore-sponsored Nunthorpe Stakes at York looked too tempting to ignore, plus the seasons remaining big speed tests. The situation is complicated as he already has 150 mares booked at $A30,000, but negotiation is the lubricant of the bloodstock world.

Brien, who had won the July Cup twice before with Mozart (2001) and Stravinsky

(1999), said: He is an incredible horse. The first day he worked, the fractions were so quick we had to go back and check his races in Australia. He was so fast, I could not believe he had won over a mile.

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