Champion jockey Oisin Murphy admits he was involved in a drink-related pub fracas at a Newmarket pub the night before failing racecourse breathalyser test – and says ‘better is expected’
- Oisin Murphy was involved in a pub fracas and then failed a breathalyser test
- He was stood down for the day and missed his rides at Newmarket racecourse
- It is the second time that Murphy has failed a breathalyser test during his career
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has admitted he was involved in a drink-related fracas at a Newmarket pub last week.
The rider, who looks certain to be crowned champion jockey for a third time on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday afternoon, also said he needs to learn not to turn to alcohol when weighed down by the pressures of racing.
Murphy has been involved in a titanic and draining struggle with William Buick to be the season’s top jockey.
Oisin Murphy has admitted he was involved in a drink-related fracas at a Newmarket pub
The Newmarket pub incident occurred on the night before the jockey failed a breathalyser test at Newmarket racecourse last Friday. He was stood down for the day and missed his rides.
It is the second time Murphy has failed a breathalyser test during his riding career.
On Friday night, Murphy, 26, said: ‘The bottom line is I’ve been honest with everyone. I allow the jockeys’ championship and riding poorly to affect my personality.
‘I need to deal with the bad days better and not turn to alcohol to delete those days. As a professional jockey, better is expected.’
The rider also said he needs to learn not to turn to alcohol when weighed down by pressure
Murphy also served a three-month ban over the winter after testing positive for cocaine while riding in France, something he blamed on cross-contamination after having sex with a woman he later learned was a drug user.
Racemail understands the latest incident caused some exasperation in the ranks of his Qatar Racing employers but has not damaged the close bond between Murphy and Qatar Racing supremo Sheik Fahad Al Thani, who is determined to support the jockey who joined his operation as a 17-year-old.
Speaking on Friday, Qatar Racing manager David Redvers said: ‘There will never be any doubt about the closeness of the relationship between Sheik Fahad and Oisin and anything that can be done to help Oisin will be done. He’s family.
The incident is the second time Murphy has failed a breathalyser test during his riding career
‘We have been through lots of roller-coasters with him. Sheik Fahad loves him dearly as do I.
‘We probably don’t fully understand the amount of pressure he puts himself under and occasionally the lid comes off the pressure cooker.
‘I don’t think anyone understands unless they have been in the cauldron that is the jockeys’ championship right at the end. It is never-ending.
‘There are undoubtedly lots of things for him to think about and work on once we get this weekend out of the way.’
The fracas is understood to have caused exasperation in ranks of his Qatar Racing employers
Murphy stretched his championship lead to three on Friday (153-150) with wins on Magisterial and Whitehaven at Haydock, with Buick only able to win on Chairmanoftheboard.
Murphy has four rides on Saturday afternoon at Ascot, while Buick has five. Murphy can be caught but it is extremely unlikely.
He said: ‘It’s not over until the final whistle.’