Don't miss Oisin Murphy's latest Sporting Life column
Don't miss Oisin Murphy's latest Sporting Life column

Oisin Murphy: Derby heartbreak as Adam Kirby gets Adayar ride

Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy reflects on losing the Cazoo Derby ride on Adayar before looking ahead to his other Epsom mounts including in the Oaks.


I was all set to be riding Adayar in the Cazoo Derby on Saturday but Aidan O'Brien's plans set a wheel in motion that saw me end up without a mount in the great race.

Unfortunately on Wednesday evening, when it became known Frankie Dettori was going to ride John Leeper, Charlie Appleby gave me a call and told me Adam Kirby will be partnering Adayar. He rides work at Moulton Paddocks every week and he's a class rider and deserves to be part of the race.

Bolshoi Ballet looks the one to beat, Hurricane Lane is unbeaten, One Ruler will improve for the trip, John Leeper is bred for the job and others have done very little wrong. It looks a very good Derby but unfortunately I'll be sat in the weighing room watching it which is heart breaking but just how it goes.

Adayar impresses on the clock at Sandown
Adayar will now be partnered by Adam Kirby on Saturday

PATIENT DREAM - 2.00 Epsom

I've not ridden this horse before but obviously I ride a lot for Ralph Beckett and we have a great strike-rate together. He's a son of Al Kazeem who won first time out after being gelded at Epsom in April, so we know he likes the track and the form of that race has worked out well with the runner-up, Coul Kat, winning at Sandown the other day. It's a tough race and he's stepping up in trip but that should be fine and he has a chance.

PARENT’S PRAYER – 2.35 Epsom

This one is owned by a gentleman who doesn’t have many horses but has had a lot of luck and this horse is a smashing filly by Kingman. I don’t know if she’d love fast ground so hopefully they don’t allow it to get rattling quick but she’ll definitely run. I was going to ride Statement in the Surrey Stakes but they opted to go this race but opted to stay on Parent’s Prayer.

BELL ROCK – 3.10 Epsom

I’m looking forward to riding BELL ROCK in the Cazoo Diomed Stakes and it was great to see him back to winning ways last time. He’s been fresh and well at home, he’s been kept very sweet. This is a step up in class for him now but we think it’s a gap he can bridge and I’m excited about his prospects.


STONE OF DESTINY did nothing wrong when I rode him at Goodwood and he was unlucky not to win. I’d say he’d be favourite for the World Pool ‘Dash’ Handicap and although it’s a hard race to predict he’s a fine horse and this race should suit. He’s got good Goodwood form and he’s a small, close-coupled tough horse who should love this test.

SOTO SIZZLER – 5.15 Epsom

SOTO SIZZLER goes in the Northern Dancer Handicap for David Menuisier and I haven’t ridden him for a while, although we did win together at this track a few years ago. We know he likes the place and we know at his best he can go well, but he hasn’t been at his best for a while.

Soto Sizzler wins at Epsom
Soto Sizzler wins at Epsom under Oisin Murphy in 2019

KIMIFIVE - 5.50 Epsom

Joe Tuite's horses are in great form so I'm looking forward to riding KIMIFIVE in the closing sprint handicap on Saturday. He's a horse I know well and he shaped quite nicely under Cieren Fallon at Goodwood last time. That was over seven furlongs but we know he's versatile and fine over six while he's dropped to a competitive mark again now, as well.


Oisin Murphy on Ocean Road

OCEAN ROAD – 4.30 Epsom – Cazoo Oaks

OCEAN ROAD is my sole chance for Classic success this weekend now and she's been doing everything right at home. We’ve got stall two and that is never ideal but we’ve just to get on with it. It’s a decent-sized field and we’re very happy with her. It’s a tough race to win and she’s an outsider, but she has done well since the Lingfield trial, she has felt good when I’ve ridden her including when she had a spin around the track and she’s eating well and looks great. All the signs are positive. I obviously respect Aidan O’Brien’s contenders particularly Santa Barbara and Snowfall and they look the main dangers. But I go into the race with hope and it would be great to win it for Sheikh Fahad as he’s coming to watch her with his wife on Friday.

DAIRERIN – 2.00 Epsom

DAIRERIN goes in the Cazoo Woodcote EBF Stakes and he should’ve won at Newbury last time out, we were in front again after the line. This looks a good spot for him, he’s small and tough and hardy, so it looks the right race, I’m looking forward to him.

BLUE CUP – 3.45 Epsom

It’s my first go on BLUE CUP and he was very unlucky at Epsom when Ryan Moore rode him earlier in the season. He was a bit disappointing at York last time in a similar competitive race, but if he bounces back to his Epsom form he’ll hopefully get a better run through and win this time around.

ABOVE – 5.40 Epsom

The Cazoo Derby Festival Handicap over seven furlongs has been the plan for ages for ABOVE. The horse is in really good order and I think he’ll be fine on the track. He’s a talented horse and hopefully this will be a stepping stone to Royal Ascot.

Quick King’s heads up Haydock double

I was delighted with KING’S LYNN in the Listed Betway Achilles Stakes it was the right race for him. He’s learning to sprint the whole time and things are coming together for him now. It was good placing from Andrew [Balding] and I was thrilled to win for The Queen on ITV.

He got the double up for me after QUICKTHORN had won earlier on the card for Hughie Morrison. He was coming off the back of over 300 days off and was thrilled he just got back to the track in one piece, he’s a talented and easy horse to ride. The potential and ability is there provided he stays sound.

ALL UK & Ireland replays - watch for free
ALL UK & Ireland replays - watch for free

Windsor wins a Monday highlight

Windsor has been kind to me all season and I had another double there on Monday afternoon. SANITISER improved from his first start for father and son partnership Paul & Oliver Cole, he ran in a hot Newbury maiden on debut and he was a little bit naughty in the stalls for me, he kept rearing up, but in the race he was good.

EPIDEMIC won first time for George Boughey having left Richard Hannon’s and he’s bred to be very good. He’s actually owned by some friends of mine so I was thrilled for them as they were there to watch him.

Shahryar makes an impact at Tokyo

I love Japanese racing having spent some time riding over there and watched the Japanese Derby on Sunday morning with some interest at Tokyo.

The favourite Efforia got beat into second but take nothing away from the winner, SHAHRYAR, by Deep Impact, who got stuck in traffic and still won. I was delighted for his jockey, Yuichi Fukunaga, it’s a very important race and I was really happy to see a horse bred at Northern Farm winning the race again.

Racing for dough, jumping for show

I did some filming for Sky Sports Racing in the week where I did a bit of riding out and some show jumping training, I got a few lessons from Richard Howley, an Irish rider based up in Yorkshire.

That was really good fun as you can see below!

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