Oisin Murphy Profile
|Born||Sep 06, 1995|
Irish jockey Oisin Murphy is the reigning Champion Flat jockey and retained rider to Qatar Racing having ridden over 1000 winners.
Murphy has packed a lot into his young life, being crowned Champion Apprentice jockey in 2014, claiming the senior Champion Jockey title in 2019 and 2020, as well as serving a controversial drugs ban.
From show jumping to horse racing
It seemed Oisin Murphy was always destined to tip the scales on the light side after being born prematurely and spending time in a neonatal unit. But Murphy has always been a battler. He got in the saddle at the age of four to ride ponies in Killarney in the south west of Ireland.
He soon progressed to show jumping and considered a career in the sport, even learning German in preparation for trips to the European hotbed of the sport.
But fate threw horse racing into Murphy's young lap when his family moved to Cork, close to his uncle and former jockey Jim Culloty's yard.
Culloty is one of only five men to have ridden and trained a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and encouraged his nephew to consider a career as jockey.
Murphy started in 'flapping' races, ultra-competitive events for young riders. It soon became clear that Murphy would be too heavy to ride over jumps and he was sent for a summer to Irish 1000 Guineas winning trainer Tommy Stack's yard.
Culloty's contacts came in handy the following year with Murphy receiving an illustrious education with Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle.
A trip across the Irish Sea was next on the agenda as Culloty sent 17-year-old Murphy to Andrew Balding's respected Park House Stables in 2012.
Early years as a jockey
Murphy did not have long mucking and riding out with Balding before he got his first winner in 2013.
He guided Imperial Glance to victory in a Class 6 hands and heels apprentice handicap at Salisbury. It would be the start to a promising career.
In fact, Murphy had three winners in the week after his first success and has not looked back since.
A trip to Ayr in September 2013 brought up a remarkable four timer for the teenage Murphy at odds of 9260/1 including a win in the Ayr Gold Cup.
Murphy won on Cockney Sparrow, Silver Rime and Levitate with the big winner in the 26 runner Gold Cup on Highland Colori at a whopping 20/1.
He went to Australia in the winter of 2013 to toughen up and gained his first winner down under in late December on the Danny O'Brien trained Settler's Way.
Back home, Murphy's first win in group company came in the Group Two Temple Stakes at Haydock in May 2014 on Hot Streak. Murphy made all the running in the Qatar Racing colours that he would soon welcome him as retained rider with and he scored by half a length from Pearl Secret.
Few jockeys make an impact in the Epsom Derby while still a claimer, but Murphy did that in June 2014 when he steered the Balding trained Red Galileo home in fifth place at a price of 100/1.
In August 2014, he was announced as the second jockey to Andrea Atzeni at the Qatar Racing operation, opening up a book of class rides.
Murphy was crowned Champion Flat Apprentice in 2014 with a total of 76 wins, raking in over a million pounds in prize money.
Murphy's 2015 Ebor win at York, on the Joseph Tuite-trained Litigant, was a huge victory on a personal level and at a giant price of 33/1. Formerly in the hands of top French trainer Andre Fabre, Murphy drove Litigant out for a one and a half length win on the Knavesmire.
With Murphy breathing down his neck, Qatar first choice jockey Atzeni moved to a retainer with Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, meaning the then 20-year-old Irishman was named as the sole retained rider for Qatar Racing in October 2015.
Murphy repaid the faith shown by Qatar's Sheikh Fahad by winning the Group Three Henry II Stakes for him in May 2016 on the Sir Mark Prescott trained Pallasator.
First Group One and further success
The 2016 season saw Murphy reach his first 100 winner campaign and he showed his willingness to globetrot by winning the Group Two Longines International Topkapi Trophy at Veliefendi in Turkey on Blond Me.
Next year proved to be a lucrative and successful one as Murphy topped over two and half million pounds in prize money.
Standout wins in 2017 were on Beautiful Romance in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy at Meydan for Godolphin, and on Blond Me for old pal Balding in the Group Two Middleton Stakes at York.
Benbatl provided Murphy with his first winner at Royal Ascot in June 2017 as he kept on to take a half-length win from Orderofthegarter in the Hampton Court Stakes.
Roaring Lion would tear into the opposition in September 2017 as he won the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket under Murphy, announcing himself as a colt of real potential.
But this was all a warm-up for Murphy's first Group One success as he headed to France to ride Aclaim in the Prix de la Foret. Murphy produced a strong run for trainer Martyn Meade to score in Paris.
Just two weeks later Murphy had flown to Woodbine in Canada to win the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor Stakes, teaming up again with Balding on the 17/2 chance Blond Me.
Four Group One wins - Roaring Lion
The 2018 campaign was dominated by Murphy's link-up with the talented John Gosden trained Roaring Lion.
Emboldened by his win in the Royal Lodge Stakes in 2017 under the Irishman, Roaring Lion beat Ballydoyle's Saxon Warrior by a neck in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in July 2018.
From there the son of Secretariat Stakes winning Kitten's Joy went on to take the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes at York, in the maroon Qatar Silks, with a fine three and half-length victory from Poet's World.
Murphy again produced a neck win from Saxon Warrior in Aidan O'Brien's backyard at Leopardstown in the Irish Champion Stakes as Roaring Lion pounced to prove his Group One credentials.
Indeed, Roaring Lion was still going in October 2018 as he won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over a mile at Ascot to bring up a magnificent four timer for Murphy.
Flat Jockeys' Championship title 2019
The 2019 campaign turned out to be a momentous year for Murphy as he edged towards a first Champion Flat Jockey title and even survived a drink-driving scandal along the way.
In June 2019, Murphy was stood down for a day at Salisbury after failing an alcohol breath test. He failed the jockey's standard for a breath test however, with the limit less than half the breath test for driving, and after missing a five-race booking at Salisbury he was allowed to continue the pursuit of his first title.
Murphy went from 12 wins in front, at the head of the title race, to nine behind, facing a real test of character to claw back the lead.
He showed grit to bounce back a few days later by winning the Group Two Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot for Andrew Balding on Dashing Willoughby.
A significant win in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in July 2019 followed as Murphy showed his champion jockey credentials, getting Sir Michael Stoute's Veracious up by a neck in the Group One contest.
A win on Japanese horse Deirdre in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in August 2019 followed as Murphy closed in on the Championship.
Murphy racked up his 200th win of the 2019 season in September 2019, the month in which he won the Weatherbys Racing Bank Â£300,000 2-Y-O Stakes on the Queen's horse King's Lynn.
He was crowned Champion Flat Jockey in October 2019 having ridden a fantastic 168 winners in 167 days.
Murphy's second Champion Flat Jockey title
Not one to rest on his laurels, Murphy flew to Japan and took the Grade One Japan Cup from the top Japanese jockeys on the 41/10 shot Suave Richard.
The 2020 flat season was severely affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic meaning that Murphy had a stop-start route to retaining his Champion Jockey crown.
He produced a first Classic win in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in June 2020 after the restart of racing with Kameko for Andrew Balding.
Another top colt out of the US bred Kitten's Joy, Kameko beat the AP O'Brien trained Wichita by a neck at British racing headquarters.
It was in July 2020 that Murphy raced in France and produced a positive drugs test for cocaine, but the news didn't break until October, meaning that he was free to chase his second Champion Jockey title.
A win on the somewhat ironically named Alcohol Free in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in September 2020 put him in good stead to retain his championship from the nearest rival William Buick.
Murphy signed off the 2020 season with a double at Southwell in November of that year, winning his second Champion Flat Jockeys' title on the spin with 142 winners.
In November 2020, the French horse racing authority France Galop announced they had banned Murphy for three months after failing a cocaine test.
Murphy's defence, which saw an original six-month ban reduced to three, was on the basis of 'environmental contamination' after admitting to having sex with a partner who he subsequently discovered had used cocaine.
Again, Murphy was able to put his troubles behind him by winning the Group One Coronation Stakes at Ascot on his return and was named the Leading Rider of the royal meeting.
This talented, unpredictable rider remains a leading contender for future Champion Jockey titles.
Oisin Murphy is the son of John and Maria Murphy and was brought up in Killarney, south west Ireland.
Away from racing Murphy enjoys reading poetry with Silvia Plath his favourite writer. He also spends time helping his girlfriend Emma O'Dwyer with her show jumping.
The racing obsessed Murphy has admitted he is not one for holidays, admitting in 2019 that he hadn't had a holiday since 2014.
Murphy can speak four languages including German.
Oisin Murphy's net worth is believed to be Â£1.8million.
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