Oisin Murphy has edged closer to his maiden champion Flat jockey title by reaching the milestone of 150 winners in a season for the first time.
The 24-year-old Murphy’s 150th victory came aboard SHAILENE for trainer Andrew Balding in a handicap at Newbury on Friday.
It moved him 37 winners clear of closest rival Daniel Tudhope in the title race, with less than a month to go until the champion is crowned on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, October 19.
On reaching the landmark, Murphy said: “It’s a fantastic achievement, and a special moment for me personally.
“I’m working as hard as I can, and I’m lucky enough to have a great team of people around me -– my driver, my agent and many others. All I have to do is ride the horses.
“It was my ambition at the start of the season to be crowned champion jockey, but there are still loads of exciting races before then, so I just want to keep rolling.”
Performing at a strike-rate of 20 per cent, Murphy is the first jockey to ride at least 150 winners in a campaign since Silvestre de Sousa in 2017.
Standout performances for the Lambourn-based jockey include his two Group 1 successes on the Japanese-trained DEIRDRE in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained VERACIOUS in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting. Both races were part of the Qipco British Champions Series.
Brilliant and likeable in equal measure, Murphy was named jockey of the month in both May and August, and his top performing track this season has been Kempton with a total of 27 wins.
His most successful trainer partnership has been with the aforementioned Balding. The pair have enjoyed 32 victories together.
So far this season, Murphy has earned more than £3 million in prize money. He will be hoping to add to that at Ayr on Saturday when his book of rides includes GUNMETAL in the headline race of the day, the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup over 6f.