MIKE de Kock has reacted to press reports about his criticism of jockey Johnny Murtagh’s ride on Mount Nelson in last Saturday’s Arlington Million in Chicago.
De Kock insisted after the race that Murtagh kept his runner, Archipenko, trapped between Mount Nelson and the rail, despite jockey Kevin Shea’s efforts to move out of the ‘’box’’ for his finishing run.
De Kock said: “What happened has been blown out of proportion. My words were spoken after the race, in the heat of the moment. There were a few press reporters around me who picked up on it and most of them agreed with me at the time.
“My opinion of Johnny Murtagh remains the same. He is a genius and one of the best jockeys I’ve seen. It is due to my high regard for him and our personal relationship that I got so upset.
“We came a long way with Archipenko to win a major race, a big event for us and perhaps a lesser one for the bigger stables. But it’s over now, the numbers are in the frame and to my mind it’s case closed.’’