Oisin Murphy is one of racing’s biggest stars. He has been champion jockey for the past two years, won big races around the world and is retained by one of the sport’s most powerful owners in Qatar Racing.
He is also an ambassador for the QIPCO British Champions Series and regularly contributes blogs to the website.
The 25-year-old secured his second jockeys’ title in 2020 with 142 winners and said: “It’s huge to win two jockeys’ championships in two years and beyond my wildest dreams. I tried my absolute best to do so and thank you to everyone who has helped along the way. I’m particularly proud of my strike rate for Andrew Balding. Sheikh Fahad allowed me to go wherever I wanted to and for that I must thank him and all the team at Qatar Racing too.”
Murphy also claimed his first Classic success during the year when securing the QIPCO 2000 Guineas with the Andrew Balding-trained Kameko. The combination won in a record time. The victory of Dream Of Dreams, in the Betfair Sprint Cup, was another highlight, as was reaching 1,000 career wins in Britain aboard Perfect Sign at Southwell.
He rode 220 of those 10000 winners during a dazzling 2019, having chalked up 198 in 2018. He has enjoyed a dozen British Group 1 victories, with Roaring Lion (above), Lightning Spear (below), Deirdre ,The Tin Man and, of course, Kameko, being among the best he has ridden.
His first Group 1 win was aboard Roaring Lion in the 2018 Coral-Eclipse. After his Sandown triumph, achieved by a neck from Saxon Warrior, he said: “It’s a relief. I’m pleased for my family. My mum and dad will be proud as it has taken me six years [to win a Group 1 race in Britain]. This is at the top [of my achievements]. This is what I wanted to be achieving.”
Murphy gained his first Champions Series win in 2014 aboard Hot Streak in the Betfred Temple Stakes at Haydock Park, when he made virtually all the running and held off the late challenge of Pearl Secret by half a length.
He was champion apprentice the same year, having made an instant impression on British racing fans the previous September when riding a sparkling four-timer on Ayr Gold Cup day, including in the feature race.
Murphy succeeded Andrea Atzeni as Qatar’s No 1 jockey in 2016 and has enjoyed great success with Andrew Balding.
He suffered a setback in November 2020 when receiving a three-month ban for having tested positive for cocaine at a meeting in France in July. France Galop, the French governing body of racing, accepted his argument that he had never taken cocaine himself.
The ban runs until March 11, meaning he will not miss the start of the British Flat racing season.