Oisin Murphy

Last updated

Oisin Murphy
DSC 3413RoaringLion.jpg
Oisin Murphy on Roaring Lion at the 2018 Breeders' Cup
Occupation Jockey
Born (1995-09-06) 6 September 1995 (age 25)
Cork, Republic of Ireland
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Weight8 st (112 lb; 51 kg)
Racing awards
British flat racing Champion Apprentice (2014)
British flat racing Champion Jockey (2019, 2020)
2000 Guineas
Owner Qatar Racing Limited.svg Owner Mr Derrick Smith.svg Owner Godolphin.svg

Oisin Murphy (born 6 September 1995) is an Irish horse racing jockey based in the United Kingdom. In October 2019, he became the British Champion Jockey.

Murphy grew up in Killarney, County Kerry He had ponies as a child and his ambition was originally to be a show-jumper. When he was fourteen the family moved to Buttevant, County Cork, so that Murphy could ride under the tutelage of his uncle Jim Culloty, three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and Grand National winner. Having sat on a racehorse for the first time at the age of fourteen, Murphy abandoned his show-jumping ambitions and embarked on the pony-racing circuit. [1] When he was fifteen he spent the summer at Tommy Stack's yard in County Tipperary and the following summer worked at Ballydoyle. In October 2012, at the age of seventeen, he moved to England and joined Andrew Balding's yard at Kingsclere in Berkshire. [1]

He made an instant impact in his first year as a professional jockey in 2013, riding a four-timer at Scottish Racing’s Ayr Gold Cup day in September, [2] including the Ayr Gold Cup itself on Highland Colori, before going on to ride a winter in Australia, mainly for Danny O'Brien and gaining a total of 13 winners. [3] In an interview in 2019, Murphy recalled his early days in racing and spoke of his admiration for older jockeys such as Kieren Fallon as well as contemporaries like Silvestre De Sousa and Jim Crowley, with his idol being Frankie Dettori after whom he named his dog and whom he credits as being the best jockey he has raced against. Murphy conceded that he was "probably a little cheeky" in the past and said that he took a few punches from older jockeys in the weighing room. He credited Dettori with having been supportive as his career as a young jockey progressed. [4]

He gained his first Group success when partnering Hot Streak to victory in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock in May 2014 and went on to be crowned British Flat Racing Champion Apprentice later that year. A second Group 2 came in the German 2,000 Guineas on Karpino in May 2015, followed by his biggest prize up until that point - the Ebor Handicap on Litigant in August. [5]

In 2016, he became number one jockey to Qatar Racing [6] and won 10 Group races on 10 different horses, including Lightning Spear (Celebration Mile) and Simple Verse (Park Hill Stakes). [5]

He gained his first Group 1 victory at the 2017 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting aboard the Martyn Meade-trained Aclaim in the Prix de la Foret. [7] He has since gone on to ride eleven more winners at the highest level, notching his first two Group 1 winners in the UK in the Qatar Racing silks on Roaring Lion in the Coral-Eclipse, [8] Juddmonte International Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Lightning Spear in the Qatar Sussex Stakes. [9]

In June 2019, Murphy tested positive for alcohol in a breath test. Although he was under the legal drink-driving limit, this was over the limit for race riding and he had to miss a day's racing at Salisbury. The incident affected his racing, and he dropped behind in the jockeys' championship, having been 12 wins ahead. [4] However, he caught up and in October became the British Champion Jockey. He retained the title in the abbreviated 2020 season, winning 142 races, 9 ahead of his closest rival, William Buick. [10]

In November 2020 Murphy received 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 Murphy's argument that he had never taken cocaine himself but had tested positive through environmental contamination, having had sex the day before with a woman who was an occasional cocaine user. [11]

He is an ambassador for the QIPCO British Champions Series and writes regular blogs for their website. He can speak four languages, including German. [4]

Major wins

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain

Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland

Flag of France.svg France

Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada

Flag of Germany.svg Germany

Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg United Arab Emirates

Flag of Japan.svg Japan

Related Research Articles

Sussex Stakes British Thoroughbred horse race

The Sussex Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged three years or older. It is run at Goodwood over a distance of 1 mile, and it is scheduled to take place each year in late July or early August.

Goodwood Racecourse Horse racing venue in England

Goodwood Racecourse is a horse-racing track five miles north of Chichester, West Sussex, in England controlled by the family of the Duke of Richmond, whose seat is nearby Goodwood House. It hosts the annual Glorious Goodwood meeting in late July and early August, which is one of the highlights of the British flat racing calendar, and is home to three of the UK's 36 annual Group 1 flat races, the Sussex Stakes, the Goodwood Cup and the Nassau Stakes. Although the race meeting has become known as 'Glorious Goodwood', it is sponsored by Qatar and officially called the 'Qatar Goodwood Festival'.

Ryan Moore (jockey)

Ryan Lee Moore is an English flat racing jockey, who was Champion Jockey in 2006, 2008 and 2009. He is currently the first choice jockey for Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle operation, a role in which he mainly rides horses owned by Coolmore Stud. He also sometimes rides horses for Juddmonte and The Queen.

Tom Queally

Thomas P. Queally is a Thoroughbred horse racing jockey. He is best known as the regular jockey of Frankel. He was first jockey to leading trainer Sir Henry Cecil. Queally is best known for his association with the Cecil-trained pair Midday and Frankel.

William Buick Norwegian-born flat jockey

William Buick is a British-Norwegian flat jockey. He shared the champion apprentice jockey title in 2008 with David Probert and won the Lester Award for Apprentice Jockey of the Year in 2007 and 2008. From 2010 to 2014 he was stable jockey to John Gosden. In 2015 he signed with Godolphin. Buick won his first Group1 race in Canada in 2010 and since then has won Group 1 races in England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.He has won three Classics: the St Leger in 2010 and 2011 and the Derby in 2018.

Joseph Patrick OBrien Irish jockey and horse trainer

Joseph Patrick O'Brien is an Irish horse racing trainer and former flat racing jockey. He is the son of trainer Aidan O'Brien. In 2012 he rode Camelot to win the 2,000 Guineas, the 2012 Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby.

2012 Champion Stakes Horse race in England

The 2012 Champion Stakes was the 136th running of the Champion Stakes horse race. It was run over one mile and two furlongs at Ascot Racecourse on 20 October 2012.

James Doyle (jockey) English racing jockey

James Doyle is a flat racing jockey. He is the son of former trainer Jacqueline Doyle. Since 2014, he has been one of the retained riders to Godolphin Racing in the UK, mainly riding horses trained by Charlie Appleby.

Andrea Atzeni

Andrea Atzeni is a professional Italian jockey based in England. He hails from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia and his family has no history of racing; his father is a farmer and his mother a dentist. Atzeni however expressed an interest in racing at a young age, competing in pony races in Sardinia. Aged 15, he moved to Milan and started working for Italian trainer Alduino Botti. Two years later he emigrated to England and joined the 'Prestige Place' stables of Alduino's son Marco in Newmarket.

Daniel "Danny" Tudhope is a Group 1-winning Scottish jockey. He is stable jockey to David O'Meara, for whom he has won most of his major races.

Roaring Lion (horse) American Thoroughbred racehorse

Roaring Lion was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He was the top-rated British-trained two-year-old of 2017, when he won three races including the Royal Lodge Stakes and suffered his only defeat when narrowly beaten by Saxon Warrior in the Racing Post Trophy. In the following year he won the Dante Stakes, the Eclipse Stakes, International Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes as well as running third in the Craven Stakes, fifth in the 2000 Guineas and third in the Epsom Derby. He was euthanised following horse colic in 2019 at the age of four.

Benbatl British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Benbatl is a British Thoroughbred racehorse. He was unraced as a two-year-old in 2016 but in the following year he won the Hampton Court Stakes and was placed in both the Craven Stakes and the Dante Stakes as well as finishing fifth in the Epsom Derby. In 2018 he began the season in Dubai where he won the Singspiel Stakes and the Al Rashidiya before defeating a strong international field in the Dubai Turf. On his return to Europe he won the Bayerisches Zuchtrennen in Germany and was then sent to Australia where he took the Caulfield Stakes and ran second in the Cox Plate.

Lightning Spear, is a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was lightly campaigned in his early career but eventually developed into a top class miler who won the Celebration Mile in 2016 and 2017 and recorded his biggest victory at the age of seven when he took the Sussex Stakes. He was also placed in numerous top-class races including the Queen Anne Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Lockinge Stakes. Lightning Spear was retired from racing to become a breeding stallion.

Accidental Agent British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Accidental Agent, is a British Thoroughbred racehorse best known for his upset victory in the 2018 Queen Anne Stakes. He showed promise when winning twice as a juvenile in 2016 and developed into a high-class handicapper in the following year. In 2018, he defeated a strong international field to take the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot at odds of 33/1. He failed to win in nine races as a five-year-old.

Deirdre (horse) Japanese Thoroughbred racehorse

Deirdre is a retired Japanese Thoroughbred racehorse. As a two-year-old she raced six times, winning one minor race and running third in the Fantasy Stakes. In the following year she developed into a top-class performer in autumn as she took the Shion Stakes and Shuka Sho. As a four-year-old she won the Queen Stakes and the Fuchu Himba Stakes as well as being placed in both the Dubai Turf and the Hong Kong Cup. In 2019 she became the first Japan-trained horse in 19 years to win a major race in the United Kingdom when she won the Nassau Stakes. She retired from racing in November 2020 at the end of a season in which she did not win a race. Over her career she raced in eight countries.

Joe Fanning Irish jockey

Joseph Kevin Fanning is a Group 1 winning Irish jockey. He has won races at every flat racecourse in Great Britain and has twice been All-Weather Champion Jockey. Since the 1990s, he has been stable jockey to Mark Johnston, for whom he has won most of his races.

Patrick Joseph "P.J." McDonald is a Group One winning Irish jockey and President (Flat) of the Professional Jockeys' Association.

Kameko American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Kameko is an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. As a two-year-old in 2019 he won his first race and then ran second in both the Solario Stakes and the Royal Lodge Stakes before winning the Vertem Futurity Trophy. On his first appearance as a three-year-old he won the 2000 Guineas in record time. He went on to win the Joel Stakes and finished fourth in both the Sussex Stakes and the International Stakes before being retired to stud at the end of the year.

Lord Glitters is a French-bred Thoroughbred racehorse. He was trained in France where he won four races before being sold, gelded, and sent to race in England as a four-year-old where he won the valuable Balmoral Handicap in October 2017. In 2018 he showed very good form over one mile, winning the Strensall Stakes and being placed in the Lincoln Handicap, Queen Anne Stakes and Sussex Stakes. As a six-year-old he finished third in the Dubai Turf before recording his biggest victory when he took the Queen Anne Stakes at the second attempt.

Eric Ephraim Smith was an English flat racing jockey, who rode over 2000 winners, including the winners of three Classics, in a career spanning over 30 years.


  1. 1 2 Verney, Michael (15 September 2018). "Prodigal son Murphy returns home to put cherry on career-defining season". Irish Independent.
  2. "Ayr Gold Cup: Oisin Murphy celebrates 9,260-1 four-timer". BBC Sport. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  3. "Danny O'Brien predicts Irish teen Oisin Murphy could revolutionise riding tactics". Herald Sun. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 McRae, Donald (17 October 2019). "Interview: Oisin Murphy: 'Now I'm champion jockey, I want to do it again'". The Guardian . Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  5. 1 2 "Oisin Murphy". Racing Post. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  6. Cook, Chris (14 October 2015). "Oisin Murphy to be Qatar Racing's only retained jockey in 2016". the Guardian. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  7. "Looking back on a Group 1 year in 2017 - QIPCO British Champions Series". QIPCO British Champions Series. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  8. "Coral-Eclipse: Roaring Lion beats Saxon Warrior after stewards inquiry at Sandown". BBC Sport. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  9. Goodwood, Greg Wood at (1 August 2018). "Glorious Goodwood: Lightning Spear and Oisin Murphy take Sussex Stakes" . Retrieved 1 January 2020 via www.theguardian.com.
  10. "Oisin Murphy retains Champion Jockey crown". BBC Sport. 6 November 2020. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  11. "Oisin Murphy: Champion jockey banned after testing positive for cocaine". BBC Sport. 27 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  12. "Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (Group 1) (Class 1) (Turf)". Racing TV.
  13. "Juddmonte International Stakes (Group 1) (1)". Racing TV.
  14. "Glorious Goodwood: Deirdre delivers Nassau Stakes gold for Japan". Racing TV. 1 August 2019.
  15. "15:15 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes". Sky Sports.
  16. "15:35 Qatar Sussex Stakes". Sky Sports.
  17. "Oisin Murphy". Equibase.