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Oisin Murphy crowned top jockey at Royal Ascot, pays moving tribute to Tiggy Hancock

‘It really puts life in perspective. We’re all thinking about her and her family.’

Oisin Murphy.
Oisin Murphy.
Image: 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 Kerryman Murphy.

“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.”

Earlier at Ascot, Murphy paid tribute to the late Tiggy Hancock, a rising star of the Irish equestrian world who tragically died this week after falling from a horse at the age of 15.

All jockeys involved in Saturday’s opening race paid tribute to Tiggy by wearing a yellow ribbon, as she so often did at horsejumping events. This was organised by Murphy. 

An emotional Murphy told At The Races: “A young lady in Ireland, 15 years of age called Tiggy Hancock had a tragic fall from her pony and unfortunately she passed away. There are no words to describe how her family are feeling. All we can do is send our thoughts and prayers.

“It really puts life in perspective. We all grew up as jockeys riding ponies and there’s nothing that can really describe how they’re feeling and the circumstances surrounding it – it’s terrible.”


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“We all know young people and we were there ourselves,” Murphy added. 

“So many questions that they must be asking but all the jockeys are going to wear these today and I just want to say that we’re all thinking about her and her family.”

- additional reporting from Emma Duffy. 

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