'It's going to be a long seven days' - champion jockey Oisin Murphy starts ban

Oisin Murphy might have a healthy lead in the Flat jockeys' championship but he is taking nothing for granted as he prepares to sit out the next seven days through suspension.

The reigning champion misses a key week of the season, featuring the four-day Pertemps St Leger meeting at Doncaster and Longines Irish Champions Weekend, with a careless riding ban issued at Ayr last month spanning Monday to Sunday.

Murphy is one winner short of a century for the season after signing off with victory on Frankenstella at York on Sunday, the day of his 25th birthday.

He is 26 winners clear of Tom Marquand, who rode a double on the same York card, with William Buick a further one behind in third.

"It's going to be a long seven days but it's nice to end it on a good note," said Murphy. "I'm sure William and Tom will keep riding winners and I hope I can get straight back on Monday week and get back into the swing of things."

After a weekend of celebration, the high point of which was his Betfair Sprint Cup win on Dream Of Dreams, Murphy will try to keep himself occupied.

"I'll ride out for Andrew Balding each day, keep fit and make sure I don't get fat," he added.

"I'll try not to watch the racing but of course I will do, I've got nothing else to do – though there's a lot of showjumping on, there's a Nations Cup at Aachen so I'll watch that."

Murphy opted not to appeal against the ban he received from the Ayr stewards when riding odds-on favourite Tiritomba to victory in a mile maiden.

The filly hung left in the closing stages and caused a rival to clip heels with her. Although the jockey felt he did everything he could to avoid causing interference, he decided it was unlikely his penalty would be quashed or reduced by the BHA disciplinary panel.

Since the incident, Murphy has been in red-hot form, riding 14 winners to maintain his title stranglehold.

Racing Post 

© 2009 All rights reserved.