I made a promise to Undrafted that I’d cover Horse Racing, and where better to start?
Oisin Murphy is the reigning champion of the Flat Jockeys Championship, not only winning it in 2019, but also 2020. At only 25 years old, he’s just getting started.
Murphy grew up in Killarney, always having a love for horses, originally wanting to be a show jumper. However he soon turned his attention to Horse Racing and becoming a professional jockey at 14. After spending time with Tommy Stack and then at the legendary Ballydoyle stables, Murphy made the switch to England.
Oisin Murphy had linked up with British trainer Andrew Balding and his excellent Kingsclere operation. Starting out as an apprentice jockey, it was clear for all to see that the young Irishman was talented. He rode a 4-timer at the prestigious Ayr Gold Cup day, and in 2014 he won the Champion Apprentice Title.
Since turning professional, Murphy just keeps going from strength to strength. Last year he won the iconic 2,000 Guineas on board Kameko, owned by boss and friend Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, arguably his biggest win to date.
His other successes include; Coral Eclipse, Nassau Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II, Prix de la Foret, Dubai Turf and even the Japan Cup.
That’s Oisin on the track, but what about off the track? We ask him some questions about Horse Racing, but also his love for football…
Thank you for joining me Oisin! After riding in so many countries, and different tracks, what is your favourite course to ride?
My favourite course in Britain has to be York. I’ve been very lucky there! I love the Juddmonte International as a race. Abroad I’d have to go with Meydan. It’s been very good to me having won the Dubai Turf there. Those two are standouts for me.
Even though you are undoubtedly one of, if not the best jockey in the world, do you still enjoy waking up at the crack of dawn and riding out?😂
I really get a buzz from riding good horses in the morning, that’s where the magic starts. If I’m riding a maiden and feel that it’s a good horse, it gets me excited.
You first rode superstar horse Roaring Lion in a novice at Kempton on just his second start. Did you know that day that he would go on to win numerous group 1’s?
Roaring Lion won very well that day at Kempton. Although he won by many lengths, he was still learning, and far from the finished article. I knew he was good, but I didn’t expect him to be a world champion.
I know what football team you support, however many won’t! What is your team, and why?👀
I follow Chelsea and have done since I was a small child. My grandad was a Chelsea fan, and we’d often sit down and watch matches together.
I believe you have a friendship with Marcos Alonso! How did this happen? Does Marcos like Horse Racing?
Yeah I speak to Marcos quite regularly. He has been to Kempton, Ascot, Goodwood, and loves going Horse Racing. He’s a top man so it’s great that he follows the sport.
You’re a big star out in Japan, and often attract big crowds and fans there! How did this come about?
I watched the 2014 Japan Cup, and ever since then I dreamt of being there one day. I was lucky enough to be the youngest jockey to ever win the Japan Cup and I’ll never forget that day. I’d love to spend every winter in Japan, however they only allow 5 foreign jockeys, which makes it difficult, but I try really hard to make it out there!
And finally, you won the legendary 2,000 Guineas on the fantastic Kameko last year, how long did it take to sink in that you’d just won one of the biggest races in the world?
The classics are key especially for the breeding of racehorses so it was massive. It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be honest. I tend not to think about past races but Kameko is a fantastic horse, and a star for Qatar Racing.
A massive thank you to Oisin Murphy for his time, and we wish him all the best in his attempt for the 2021 Jockeys Championship, where he bids for a third title in a row.
You can find Oisin on social media using the buttons below!