Murphy seals third jockeys’ title after thrilling Buick battle


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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