Oisin Murphy wraps up third successive British Champion Jockey title

The Killarney jockey followed in the footsteps of Richard Hughes, Pat Eddery and Kieren Fallon

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Oisin Murphy let out a sigh of relief that could nearly be heard in his home country after wrapping up a white-knuckle third British Champion Jockey title. 

The Killarney native has now been the top jockey in the UK for three successive seasons and prevailed in one of the closest races in recent memory.

He started Ascot’s Qipco British Champions Day with a three-winner lead over William Buick, cut to two when his rival rode Creative Force to victory in the Sprint Stakes.

But Murphy held on, chiefly thanks to a double at Haydock on the penultimate day of racing this season, to claim the trophy by 153 winners to 151.

“I’d like to thank my family, all my employees; my driver, my agent, my manager Jimmy Derham, the trainers who put me up on such great horses like Andrew Balding, Sheikh Fahad and the whole Qatar Racing team who have stuck by me through the ups and downs of a rollercoaster ride,” said the 26-year-old.

“It’s brilliant when it’s going well but when the bad days are upon us it’s very easy to not be there for me and they have been there.

“It’s been a real battle. This has been the toughest campaign for the jockeys' title for me yet.

"The last few weeks have been a real tough ride and everyone has seen that, I’ve had to make the most of every opportunity.” 

Murphy has emulated the feats of Richard Hughes, who won three straight titles from 2012 to 2014. 

Kieren Fallon and Pat Eddery are the only other Irish jockeys to have won the British title on so many successive occasions.

Murphy, who won the Irish Champion Stakes with Roaring Lion in 2018, claimed his first British Classic with Kameko in last year’s 2000 Guineas.

His two Group 1 winners in his victorious season both came with Andrew Balding’s Alcohol Free in the Cheveley Park Stakes and Coronation Stakes.

Murphy said: “August was my best month ever with 42 winners, September wasn’t bad and October was a struggle, but I managed to get it over the line and it’s massive for everyone involved with me to get that third title. Thank you to everyone who has given me winners

“The overriding emotion is relief. I set out to do something, I try not to fail and I’ve put absolutely everything into it

“For me, the championship is over but the season isn’t.

“Hopefully I’ll be riding in the final Group One of the UK turf season next week on Buckaroo or Hoo Ya Mal and then there’s the Breeders’ Cup as well, so there’s plenty to play for this year yet."

The overriding emotion is relief

- Oisin Murphy 

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