Grand National-winning rider Timmy Murphy claimed his first winner as a fully-fledged Flat jockey aboard Houdini in the Roger & Mary Marsh Handicap at Wolverhampton yesterday.
Murphy had been on the sidelines since the beginning of 2014 due to a shoulder injury before having his first rides on the level at Thirsk on Saturday evening.
Just three rides into the next chapter of his illustrious career, Murphy was seen to great effect on the three-year-old, who is trained by his former weighing room colleague Jamie Osborne.
Murphy had been due to return at Brighton last Wednesday but the meeting was called off after only two races due to high winds.
Murphy is hoping to emulate the likes of Jim Crowley, Graham Lee and PJ McDonald who have all made a success of switching to the level having made their names riding over jumps.
Houdini was sent off at 7-1 and held off the late thrust of Arlecchino’s Leap by a head.
Osborne said: ‘‘It’s great he’s got it under his belt so quickly.
“He’s been riding out three or four times a week for me for the best part of two months now.
“Timmy is and always has been a great horseman and if you saw that race, he didn’t look like a man having his third ride on the Flat. In my eyes if you can ride, you can ride.
“I can’t believe he is where he is with his weight but he did 9st comfortably there and didn’t look bad on it, he seems strong and healthy.
“He’s just a phenomenally good jockey, he’s a good bloke and I’ll be using him when I can. If I can help him make a good go of it, then I will do.”
Wins at Newmarket, York and Newbury, where he beat Brown Panther, in 2012 set him up for his first trip Down Under and he finished fifth behind Green Moon before going even closer the following year.
Moved to Botti for the start of last season, he ran well in Dubai for his new handler before winning the Aston Park Stakes almost exactly a year ago.
Injuries have prevented him from making it back to the track and Botti has now decided to retire him.
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