ECONOMY

Murphy seals third jockeys’ title after thrilling Buick battle


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isin Murphy admitted relief was his overriding emotion after he was crowed champion jockey for the third successive season on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.

The Killarney-born rider looked set for a comfortable defence of his title a few weeks ago, but a late charge from William Buick set up a thrilling finale.

Buick closed the gap to just one on a couple of occasions earlier in the week, but a double at Haydock on Friday meant Murphy started the final day with a decisive three-winner lead.

Buick struck early on Champions Day with Creative Force in the big sprint to give himself renewed hope – but defeat for Adayar in the Champion Stakes put paid to his gallant season-long pursuit of Murphy.

Murphy said: “I’m over the moon and thrilled to get it across the line. Thank you to my family and everyone – I’ve got a massive support group.

“The last week I’ve had a lot of people on my side. Frankie Dettori has been there every day making sure my spirits are up and I was riding off instinct as normal which is key.

“You need to make every ride count and I was running out of opportunities. I held it together thankfully in the end.”

However, it has not been entirely plain sailing for the 26-year-old, who just last week was forced to give up rides at Newmarket after failing a racecourse breathalyser test amid reports of an incident in a pub the previous night.

Murphy is also still sporting the scars of a nasty face injury suffered in a parade ring fall Salisbury last month.

Murphy added: “I think everyone knows that I am human and quite honest. But I need to do better and I don’t want any issues surrounding my career. Let’s just focus on riding winners and hopefully winning another jockeys’ championship.

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