'Beyond my wildest dreams': Oisín Murphy crowned top jockey at Royal Ascot

“I watched this meeting with my parents and never thought this armband belonged with me. The last few days have been incredible,” said the Kerry jockey
'Beyond my wildest dreams': Oisín Murphy crowned top jockey at Royal Ascot

Oisín Murphy celebrates winning the Golden Gates Stakes on board Foxes Tales during day five of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse. Picture: David Davies/PA

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-year-old 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 the Kerry man.

“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.” 

He added: “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.” 

Murphy was 4-9 favourite at the start of day five after doing the hard work earlier in the week and he had a full book of seven rides.

However, his first three mounts were unplaced and his luck appeared to be out when Starman was withdrawn from the Diamond Jubilee Stakes because of the soft ground.

Murphy was sill able to get a ride in the six-furlong Group One when he was allowed to switch to the Andrew Balding-trained Happy Power at the expense of Jim Crowley, and managed to finish fourth.

Murphy could be excused getting a little twitchy as the big prize went to Moore on Dream Of Dreams for Sir Michael Stoute.

It was Moore’s second of the day, and third of the meeting, after he struck first blood to give himself a sporting chance when taking the Chesham Stakes on Point Lonsdale.

The son of Australia, giving Aidan O’Brien a record sixth winner in the Listed contest, foiled Frankie Dettori on John and Thady Gosden’s Reach For The Moon, owned by the Queen.

Moore won the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes on Stratum for Willie Mullins, but it was not enough for him to catch Murphy.

William Buick also briefly had hope as he went to three with a superb victory on David Menuisier’s wonder filly Wonderful Tonight in the Hardwicke Stakes. But there was ultimately no stopping Murphy.

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.

A one-two for trainer Charlie Appleby with Creative Force and Naval Crown in the Jersey Stakes ensured Godolphin were leading owners with three winners.

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