Emotional Murphy dedicates top jockey Ascot prize to late teenage eventer Hancock

Tiggy Hancock, 15, died earlier this week during training and Murphy paid his respects after clinching his fifth victory at the meeting

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Murphy, 25, became the first Irish rider to be crowned Royal Ascot's top jockey since Johnny Murtagh eight years ago

Oisin Murphy dedicated his Royal Ascot success to a teenage eventing star killed in a tragic accident this week, writes James Toney.

Murphy's Golden Gate Stakes win on Foxes Tales was his fifth victory in recent days and secured him the meeting’s prestigious top jockey title, the first Irish rider to claim the prize since Johnny Murtagh in 2013.

But his thoughts were immediately for Tiggy Hancock, 15, who died earlier this week during training in Dublin.

Murphy and all jockeys wore yellow ribbons in tribute to the talented Tiggy, who was never seen without them when competing.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Tiggy's family and friends, it's such a tragic loss," he said.

"I grew up riding ponies myself, there's no words to describe what they must be feeling right now. We're all thinking of them right now and all we can do is send our thoughts and prayers. It puts life into perspective."

Among the first to congratulate Murphy was his friend Frankie Dettori, a seven-time winner of the top jockey prize here.

And you sense this won't be the last time Murphy, 25, will finish these five days as the toast of the weighing room.

"When I was a child I watched this meeting with my parents, I never thought this honour could belong to me but the last few days have been incredible," he added.

"It's absolutely beyond my wildest dreams, Ascot is the Olympics of our sport and just a big thanks for everyone who has given me a ride on these fast horses."



The victories of Jim Bolger's 1000 Guineas star Poetic Flare in Tuesday's St James's Palace Stakes, and Aidan O'Brien's super-talented Love, returning to action after 300 days to claim the Prince of Wales' Stakes, were the Irish highlights of the week.

Gavin Cromwell and Murtagh bagged their first Royal Ascot wins too with Quick Suzy and Create Belief respectively while Willie Mullins scored with Stratum in the lucky last.

And while it was a quieter week for Ballydoyle, O'Brien did score again with Point Lonsdale, who looks a serious contender for next year's Classics, in the Chesham Stakes.

That means six wins for Irish raiders, one more than 2020 and 2019.

My thoughts and prayers are with Tiggy's family and friends, it's such a tragic loss.
- Oisin Murphy

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