By Andrew Atkinson

Oisin Murphy has won the British Flat jockeys’ championship for a third consecutive season that has been tinted with controversy.

“It has been an up and down season,” said Murphy who became top jockey ahead of William Buick.

The title went to the wire at Ascot on Saturday with Buick closing the deficit to two after Creative Force’s win in the Champions Sprint, with Murphy taking the title, 153-151.

“I’m over the moon and thrilled to get it across the line. Thank you to my family and everyone, I’ve got a massive support group,” said Murphy.

“The last week I’ve had a lot of people on my side. Frankie Dettori has been there every day messaging me and making sure my spirits were up. I was riding off instinct and as normal, which was key.

“You need to make every ride count and I was running out of opportunities – but I held it together thankfully in the end,” said Murphy.

Murphy, 26, missed rides at Newmarket this month – after failing a breathalyser test at the course – and was involved in a drunken altercation with a bloodstock agent at a bar in the town.

“I think everyone knows that I’m human – I’m quite honest – but I need to do better,” said Murphy. “I don’t want any issues surrounding my career and let’s just focus on trying to ride winners and hopefully try to win another jockeys’ championship next year,” he said.

Murphy was suspended for the first three months of this year after his urine sample tested positive for metabolites of cocaine in a drugs test in France in July 2020.

On the season, Murphy said: “Ascot was my best – the horses flew during July and August.

“William Buick is a terrific rider. And going into the Championship you have to every chance you get.

“You need to ride well and get the winners on the board. I think I made my rides count in the final week.”