• Quote: ‘I went 18 months without a suspension anywhere in the world. Now I’ve been hit with a big one. Such is life’ – champion jockey Murphy

By Andrew Atkinson

The 2020 St Leger Classic at Doncaster on September 12 will be without champion Flat jockey Oisin Murphy, after receiving a seven day suspension at Ayr on August 24, pending appeal.

“I haven’t spoken to the PJA yet,” said Murphy, when asked about an appeal.

“It’s a little bit stressful, because I hope everyone is aware I don’t want to cause interference – particularly in a novice race in a small field at Ayr,” said Murphy.

Murphy, riding Tiritomba, was found guilty of careless riding ajudged by the stewards to have allowed his mount to drift left for a considerable time without sufficient correction causing fellow jockey Paul Mulrennan to take a significant check and clip heels.

Prior to a possible appeal against the seven day ban, Murphy has spoken to a number of trainers to get their opinions following the incident that led to a ban.

“I’ve shown the clip to a few trainers to have a look, and the general consensus is I haven’t taken my hands off the reins and I haven’t directed my horse to shift left. I don’t ride with wing mirrors to know there is a horse within reach of mine.

“If you argue I should have pulled my stick through to the left. Well to do that, I would have had to loosen my hold on the right rein.

“There’s a photo taken after we’ve pulled up. My horse was wearing a snaffle, which has split in half, and half of the bit has come through the horse’s mouth on the right-hand side.

“It will be interesting to see the way other people view it, because that will have a bearing on whether I appeal or not, as well as my own view.

“If the BHA believe it was worthy of a seven-day suspension and that it is fair, they are entitled to that opinion.

“I’m riding within their rules, at least I try to. I think I’ve got three or four days to decide whether to appeal.

“I went about 18 months without a suspension anywhere in the world. Now I’ve been hit with a big one. Such is life. I think it’s sensible to take a bit of time to think about it.”