JOHNNY MURTAGH has been retained to ride all the horses owned by the Aga Khan in Ireland next season, it has been announced.

The arrangement will give Murtagh, who last week resigned from his stable jockey position with Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O'Brien, access to 120 horses the owner has with John Oxx and Michael Halford.

Murtagh will be renewing his association with Oxx, for whom he rode the Aga Khan's Derby, Irish Derby and Arc winner Sinndar during his time as stable jockey to the trainer from 1992 to 2003, when he rode 17 Group 1 winners for the Aga Khan.

The owner said: "I am delighted to have secured a world class jockey like Johnny Murtagh as my retained rider in Ireland. We have had some wonderful days in the past and we look forward to renewingour successful association.

"I believe it is vital to the continued success of my bloodstock operation to have a retained jockey in the countries where my horses are trained. This has been the situation in France for many years and I am most pleased now to have a similar arrangement in Ireland."

Murtagh returned from the Breeders' Cup last week to announce he would not be continuing his successful association with the Ballydoyle operation, although he has not explained the reasons behind his decision to end the link.

Of his new job he said: "I am thrilled to be renewing my association with His Highness's horses in Ireland. We have shared some fantastic moments over the yearsand I have always enjoyed riding in the green and red colours.

"This will also give me an opportunity to ride for John Oxx again. I started off riding for Mr Oxx and it has always been a pleasure to be part of his Currabeg team."

The new arrangement will be a blow to Fran Berry, who succeeded Mick Kinane as Oxx's stable jockey this year. The Aga Khan thanked Berry and saidhe would continue to be used when necessary.

Christophe Lemaire will continue as the owner's retained rider in France having recently signed a two-year contract running from 2011 to 2012.