Talking Horses: Murphy needs to meet demands of his champion status

By: Greg Wood Tuesday 19 October 2021

Jockey would be first rider to win four championship titles in a row since Pat Eddery if he lifts the trophy again next year

The celebrations were not quite all that they could or should have been when Oisin Murphy finally secured the Flat jockeys’ title for the third year running at Ascot on Saturday, after a final week of struggle with William Buick when the crown seemed to be slipping through his fingers. The emerging news overnight that he had been involved in a drunken “fracas” in a Newmarket pub a few hours before failing a pre-racing breath test on day one of Future Champions Weekend only added to the sense of a defending champion staggering over the line.

Sheikh Fahad al-Thani, Murphy’s staunchest supporter since his apprentice days, seemed to sense it too, and leapt to his jockey’s defence on ITV Racing. “Nobody reads the tabloids,” the Sheikh told Ed Chamberlin, ITV’s main presenter. “That’s just tabloid rubbish.”

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