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Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy is getting better at almost always losing

Fresh from winning the 2000 Guineas on Kameko to secure his first British Classic success, Kerry'...

Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy i...

Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy is getting better at almost always losing

Fresh from winning the 2000 Guineas on Kameko to secure his first British Classic success, Kerry's Oisin Murphy discussed the challenges that a jockey must face and overcome on Tuesday's OTB AM. 

In the midst of a successful patch that would lead many racegoers to believe that this young Irish jockey will only rise higher and higher in the years to come, Oisin Murphy's conversation with OTB AM captured the relentless drive that is required to reach such heights.

The very situation in which he found himself chatting to Eoin Sheahan and Nathan Murphy revealed how little time you are allowed to rest on your well-deserved laurels.

"My travel regime is non-stop," he explained from the passenger seat of a car headed to his latest destination on Tuesday's OTB AM. "I think I'm riding in 8 or 9 races today. I ride more horses than anyone else.

A matter of days after winning the 2000 Guineas, his first British Classic success, Murphy is back on the road again for another busy day's racing at Haydock this afternoon. On Wednesday, he travels to Kempton. On Thursday, it's Newbury. Then it is back to Kempton again and on and on it goes.

"But I have a driver who is brilliant," he explained, "an agent, a manager and all these people who support me. It is paramount though to deal with the work load."

With such a hectic schedule has come great success for the 24-year-old, however. In 2019, he followed the likes of Kieran Fallon, Jamie Spencer and Richard Hughes to become the latest Irish rider to win the crown of British Champion Jockey.

Furthermore, as the past few weeks and months demonstrated, Oisin Murphy doesn't cope too well when he has an abundance of time on his hands.

"Without racing I've got nothing to focus on for the whole day," he admitted. "So, why should I get out of bed at 8:00 am or even at mid-day? I had nothing to do. Eventually, I started getting my act together, but it was tough going."

Oisin Murphy Oisin Murphy celebrates being crowned Champion Jockey during QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse.

In a lengthy interview you can watch back in full here, Oisin Murphy delved into the everyday challenges that he must overcome to retain his status as a successful jockey.

Expectantly, his body weight is something that must be kept closely monitored at all times. Beyond that, however, there are the psychological challenges that he contend with to maximise his performances in the saddle.

"At the moment, I feel like I'm riding well," he explained. "I've never spoken to another sportsperson about this, but I think it definitely applies for jockeys.

"No matter what races you're winning, whether they're ordinary ones or big Group Ones, your confidence is impacted on a day-to-day basis. Nobody believes in themselves truly every single day.

"When I get beaten on four favourites at Epsom on a Wednesday evening, I'm not jumping out of bed to ride out the next morning. And we lose so many more races than we win.

"Like, last season I was Champion Jockey and I had a 20% strike rate. That meant I was losing 4 out of every 5 races. You have to learn to pick yourself up."

Unlike some other sporting environments where individuals are pitted in direct competition with one another, Oisin Murphy explained that the racing fraternity tended to keep an open mind when it comes to helping a fellow jockey out.

"I remember texting Frankie Dettori once," he recalled of an important exchange he had with the legendary jockey, "and he knew the pressure I was under and the pressure I was putting myself under.

"He replied: 'Believe in yourself because I believe in you.' It just took a second to realise that I hadn't been doing badly and I eventually picked myself up, but it is not an easy task.

"We've all been through it though. You think of all the great, great jockeys and they've all had peaks and troughs."

You can watch back our interview with jockey Oisin Murphy and catch up with all of OTB's racing coverage on our YouTube channel, on or on the brand new OTB Sports App

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2000 Guineas Frankie Dettori Horse Racing Oisin Murphy