The Herald on Sunday

Murphy buzzing after being crowned top jockey


A SINGLE victory on the final day helped Oisin Murphy secure top jockey honours for the first time at Royal Ascot.

Five winners were enough to seal the accolade for the 25-yearold champion jockey, who clinched the coveted prize aboard Foxes Tales for King Power Racing and trainer Andrew Balding.

“I wouldn’t have expected to get it – if you had asked me on Tuesday morning if I would be leading jockey I’d have said ‘ of course not’,” said Murphy.

“It normally belongs to Ryan [ Moore] and Frankie [ Dettori], but they gave me a turn this week and thanks very much to the fast horses this week.

“It’s beyond my wildest dreams to be top jockey here. I watched this meeting with my parents and never thought this armband belonged with me. The last few days have been incredible. It’s special because as I’ve got older I’ve appreciate­d these days even more. I know I’m only 25, but life is precious. It’s a huge buzz.”

Asked for his highlight, Murphy nominated Friday’s Coronation Stakes heroine Alcohol Free, whose victory came just after Murphy had been demoted from first place aboard Dragon Symbol in the Commonweal­th Cup.

He said: “My best moment of the week was Alcohol Free. She came along at a very important time in my career last year – I was under a lot of pressure and I managed to nail a Group One [in the Cheveley Park Stakes] – and yesterday was a similar scenario. The pressure was on.”

Despite the success of Foxes Tales, Balding was edged out by John and Thady Gosden for top trainer honours on countback, with both outfits finishing on four winners.

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