Oisin Murphy, dual Champion jockey, deserves due recognition in this column, which places great emphasis on horse-riding skills, following a fabulous first week of August, and his sensational blitz has nigh on sealed a a hat-trick for the Irishman who, as a lad of 17, first came to light ten years ago on an incredible afternoon at Ayr on Gold Cup day!
The extremely likeable County Kerry-born apprentice had four rides, including Highland Colouri in the big race for his guv’nor, Andrew Balding; amazingly all won, landing the completely unknown Murphy a dramatic four-figure accumulator.
In my column I described the feat as ‘outstanding and incredible’ and insisted such a remarkable effort couldn’t possibly be a fluke; this is one time I’ve been absolutely accurate.
Tom Marquand, described as ‘the best since Pat Eddery’ and William Buick, a natural from the day he appeared as a kid at Brighton all those years ago, are both fulfilling their potential in every sense but Oisin seems to have engaged a fifth gear with his domination and it’s difficult to see anyone, apart from Marco Ghiani, being able to rival him in years ahead. Their quest for success is insatiable and wonderful for punters.
The last named has only recently lost his apprentice claim but he’s gaining colossal experience and a lot of respect riding winners constantly at the highest level; it’s the same with ‘pocket rocket’ Hollie Doyle, at least the equivalent of 38-year-old Hayley Turner, undoubtedly the best female jockey I’ve ever seen on a consistent basis and now approaching the magic total of ONE THOUSAND WINNERS.
Last Saturday another ‘flower’ sprouted when Nicola Currie, also ‘rapped’ forcefully in my daily blog a couple of years back, took the Shergar Cup individual award with two winners, a second and a third to also win the jockey’s competition for the ‘Ladies’ team virtually single-handedly. Her riding was in the ‘super league’ category, can it be down to her relationship with another outstanding National Hunt jockey, Sam Twiston-Davies?
Sam is arguably one of the best and most rhythmic finishers, along with mercurial Harry Skelton, over jumps.
Jockeyship. forever a fascination, is a feature of my daily association with the ‘Sport Of Kings’ along with magnificent thoroughbreds which bestride the fifty-odd racecourses throughout England, Scotland and Wales; Ireland has its own special talent, Grand National-winning Rachael Blackmore, currently sidelined but thankfully recovering from a scary smash last month.
Racing is an extremely dangerous sport but the only one I’ve ever wanted to frequent and write about; never underestimate what all these fantastic ‘athletes’ achieve on our behalf. I’m sure you don’t!
I’m doing my bit but that’s all it is, just an infinitesimal contribution which is all about three selections daily; here they are.
Selections, Wolverhampton, 3.20 Tyson; Ripon, 5.55 Josie’s Kid (nap-e.w); Windsor, 6.05 Dalquiri Francais (e.w).
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019