Caution for Murphy after jockey failed a racecourse breath test
OISIN Murphy has received a caution for failing a racecourse breath test. A leading contender to be champion jockey this season, the 23-year-old was prevented from taking his five rides at Salisbury on June 16.
Two readings, which have only just been released after an enquiry into the matter concluded, were 26 micrograms per 100ml of breath (at 2.07pm) and 27 micrograms six minutes later.
The alcohol limit for jockeys is 17 micrograms per 100ml of breath, less than half the UK driving limit of 35. Murphy was in breach of Rule (D)66. A British Horseracing Authority stewards’ report read at the time: “The clerk of the scales reported that Oisin Murphy provided a sample which was found to contain alcohol above the threshold level for breath samples.
“The rider, the clerk of the scales and the sampling officer were interviewed.
“The matter was referred to the head office of the British Horseracing Authority and Murphy was suspended from riding for the rest of the day.”
The day before the positive sample, Murphy rode a winner for his boss Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, who was celebrating his 30th birthday.
The setback came days before Royal Ascot, when he was among the winners on Dashing Willoughby in the Group Two Queen’s Vase.
He was recently overtaken at the head of the Stobart-backed title race by
Daniel Tudhope, but remains firmly in contention.
In 2018, Murphy celebrated nine wins at Group One level including four on Roaring Lion, a flagship first-season sire for Tweenhills near Gloucester.
This week it emerged the stallion is suffering from colic, which Arc runnerup Sea Of Class recently succumbed to.
The grey started to show symptoms after coming out of quarantine in New Zealand, where he had been sent for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.
Those plans have now been scrapped after surgery and Tweenhills’ manager David Redvers has flown out to see him.
The son of Kittens Joy subsequently underwent successful surgery at Cambridge Equine Hospital and is reported to have made “a favourable recovery in the first 24 hours post-surgery”.
Stud CEO Henry Plumptre told www. cambrigdestud.co.nz: “We want to act in the best interests of (owner) Sheikh Fahad and our shareholders.
“Following major surgery, we feel it is appropriate to withdraw the horse from service with all shareholders being fully refunded.
“Our best-case scenario is that Roaring Lion makes a full recovery and can be returned safely to the UK. While everyone at Cambridge Stud is shattered, we feel the obligation to Sheikh Fahad, David Redvers and our shareholders is important.
“It is a massive blow to lose Roaring Lion like this, but his ongoing welfare is now our prime concern.”
Roaring Lion is recuperating at Cambridge Equine Hospital, where he is being monitored closely by their expert team as well as Redvers and Tweenhills stallion groom Reece Sutcliffe.
Cambridge Stud’s surgeon Dr Alanna Zantingh said: “Roaring Lion is doing much better.
“He has pretty good motility on ultrasound and his stomach has remained small, so we’ve given him handfuls of grass every couple of hours and he’s eating it really, really well, wishing for more.
“His stomach has been handling it well and all his vitals have been within normal limits all day. He’s starting to get a little annoyed with us which I think is a very good sign!”
Veterinarian Dr Rob Hitchcock added: “All his vitals are within the normal parameters.
We’ll continue to give him food in small amounts and monitor his progress.
“His intestines have worked and he had a really good soft manure pass in the night which is very positive.
“It’s still fingers crossed but we’re happy with him.”
A very relieved Redvers said: “He’s looking much, much brighter.
“He’s had the equine physio in giving him massages.
“He’s eating again; he’s excreting well and he’s looking generally irritable, which is a good sign.
“He’s looking for more food and when he gets it he’s licking the pot.
“He’s on lots of cut grass and things are looking much better.”
It is a massive blow to lose Roaring Lion like this, but his ongoing welfare is now our prime concern Henry Plumptre
Roaring Lion ridden by Oisin Murphy (front) get the better of Saxon Warrior to win The Coral-eclipse Race at Sandown Park