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Picture: Callan Murray after winning on the Garret Lynch-trained Sunny Green at Morphettville. (Twitter)

Callan Murray will fly from his current base in Australia in about ten days time and arrive in South Africa on Monday the 27th ahead of the Hollywoodbets Durban July in which he has landed a plum ride on the Mike de Kock-trained Al Muthana.

He said, “I’m very excited for the opportunity to ride Al Muthana in the July. I had a lot to do with him in his early days, including being aboard for his first win, and have always had a good opinion of him. He’s a talented horse. I know Mr De Kock will have him exactly where he needs to be – the rest will be up to me!”
He added, “I’m very excited to be riding in the Shadwell silks that I have had so much joy in over my career.”
Murray has had nine Grade 1 wins in his career and four of them have been in Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum’s famous blue with white epaulettes silks, Mustaqeem (Redoute’s Choice), Rafeef (Redoute’s Choice) and twice on Hawwaam (Silvano).
All of those were trained by De Kock and so were three of his other Grade 1 winners, Heavenly Blue (Snitzel), Queen Supreme (Exceed And Excel) and Takingthepeace (Visionaire).
His two other Grade 1 winners were the Geoff Woodruff-trained Deo Juvente (Trippi) and the Sean Tarry-trained Warrior’s Rest (What A Winter).  
Murray asked for the ride on Al Muthana.
He elaborated, “I asked and fortunately got the ride. I wanted to come back for a visit, it’s a quiet time of year here and I’ve always wanted to win a July. So it just worked out a treat.”
Callan has had 24 winners in Australia, but encouragingly nine of them have come in the last month.
“It’s proven difficult to break into but things are picking up really well,” he said.