Drunk 10 hours a day put him in a dangerous spot, says jockey Oisin Murphy

Jockey Oisin Murphy’s career flew out of the starting gate as fast as a champion Thoroughbred.

At the age of 25, he was British Flats champion, dubbed ‘the new Frankie Dettori’ and one of the few privileged jockeys to ride for the Queen.


Jockey Oisin Murphy’s career started as fast as the champion Thoroughbreds, but soon fell apart.Credit: Getty
Queen Presents Trophy to Star Rider Oisin at Ascot 2018


Queen Presents Trophy to Star Rider Oisin at Ascot 2018
Oisin, who lives with girlfriend Lizzie Nielsen, daughter of racehorse owner Bjorn Nielsen, says she was his rock


Oisin, who lives with girlfriend Lizzie Nielsen, daughter of racehorse owner Bjorn Nielsen, says she was his rockCredit: lizzynielsen/Instagram

Last April, he paid tribute to Prince Philip, who died a few days ago, by wearing a black armband during his victory at Newmarket aboard His Majesty’s beloved horse Tactical.

But in November his world fell apart when he was banned from racing for 14 months and fined a hefty £31,000 for drinking and Covid violations.

Ahead of his major new documentary, Oisin told The Sun:

“I know I’m the bad guy in racing right now, but I hope I can help others by sharing my struggles.

Oisin Murphy says he 'should have died' as a premature baby in new Amazon doc
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy banned for 14 months after breaking Covid rules

“I have been sober since October 7th and am determined to prove that I can continue on the straight and narrow path.”

Oisin’s booze addiction saw him sink 25 beers in a 10-hour binge.

The three-time champion jockey explains: I continued to drink until I fell asleep.

“Caught in a trap”

“But you can’t make good decisions when you’re drunk 10 hours a day.

“I didn’t want to get off the roller coaster, so I drank when I was feeling good and drank when I wasn’t. I blanked out regularly, and it just became the norm.”

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The Fly-on-the-wall Prime Video series Horsepower offers an unprecedented glimpse into what life is really like at one of the world’s greatest stables, Kingsclere.

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Viewers watch as 27-year-old Oisin works in a garden owned by his boss and trainer Andrew Balding (brother of presenter Claire) while working in Burks’ 150-year-old yard in Newbury. In , we can see him come to terms with his bad boy reputation.

As well as the Queen’s filly, Bolding’s clients also include former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the Qatari royal family.

Oisin’s 14-month suspension comes after he admitted to breaking Covid rules, misleading the British Racing Authority (BHA) and acting against them.

He was also convicted of two alcohol violations after failing breathalyzer tests in May and October 2021.

The jockey flew to Mykonos in September 2020 while on the government’s Red List and returned to racing without self-isolating.

He tried to convince the authorities that he had gone to Lake Como, Italy instead.

In the two weeks since returning from the Greek islands, Oisin has ridden 74 horses, 11 of which have won.

Speaking to the BHA’s Independent Judiciary Committee, Chairman James O’Mahoney denounced Oisin, saying:

“And you’re not on top of them. They apply to everything. All you had to do was self-isolate.”

Oisin did not contest either accusation and blamed his actions on drinking. People told me this could happen, but I couldn’t avoid it and fell into the trap.Since then, Oisin has been attending his twice-weekly counseling sessions and the Alcoholics Anonymous I am attending a meeting of He reveals:

“Counseling is done twice a week and I always feel better when I leave the hospital. It has helped me a lot in my recovery.”

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The Irish jockey moved to England at the age of 17, dreaming of a successful career like his famous uncle, trainer and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Jim Caroty.

It didn’t take long before top trainer Balding chose him as a future winner and Oisin was named British Champion Jockey for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

But behind the scenes, Oisin turned to booze to deal with the pressure of a million-pound racehorse.

he said: But after a while, I wanted to run away and started drinking heavily. “

He says he ignored the first big wake-up call when he tested positive for cocaine after a July 19, 2020 race in France.

He recalls: [French regulator] French gallop. I found out I failed a cocaine test.

“I called you as soon as I saw you [Balding] And said, “Look, I didn’t drink Coke.”

“I took another test that can tell you exactly if you’ve been on drugs for more than three months, and that’s clear.” can be explained by doing Partner later discovered he had been using cocaine.

Oisin said: [that it was contamination]”

“They lost their patience”

After proving his claim at a hearing, the six-month ban was reduced to three, but Oisin admits he was naive in ignoring calls to take time-outs.

he said: But when I failed another sobriety test in October 2021, I knew enough was enough.

“That’s when I decided to sober up.” Shortly after turning his back on booze, Oisin was officially banned from racing until February 2023.

He vowed never to drink again, stating:

“Counseling has helped. I don’t escape situations with drinks.

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“It’s great to be able to watch football with friends who drink a few beers, but the bottom line is you can’t drink a single beer. Then you’ll have 25 beers, and tomorrow the same beer. I’m going to drink

Oisin describes the past 11 months as one of the most difficult times he’s faced, revealing that Horsepower, filmed between fall 2020 and summer 2021, has brought him catharsis. Did. “When I saw the series, I realized how sick I was, but I hope it helps others,” he says. I write down all the nonsense on my phone. [when drunk] as a reminder. I have to prove to everyone that I can ride calmly. “

Oisin still has stones to lose before returning to racing, but he works out in the gym and competes in showjumping events.

He also draws strength from the willpower he showed in the days after a sobriety test awaiting the BHA’s verdict.

“After that test I was actually racing,” he says proudly.

“What people don’t realize is the strength I had to muster up to ride that cup. rice field.”

Oisin, who lives with his girlfriend Lizzie Nielsen, the daughter of racehorse owner Björn Nielsen, says his family has supported him. [Balding] His wife, Annalisa, never turned her back on me.

“I can’t thank them enough. Kingsclere had important clients and it must have been hard to see their primary riders making so many errors.

I hope this series gives you some insight into what it’s really like to be a jockey. ”

Oisin now has her sights set on winning big races again, just as she did when she was Queen.

he said: I met her at her stables and on race days and she was with her horses every step of the way.

“I want to win another big race for everyone who believed in me.”

  • Horse Power is available on Prime Video starting today.
Oisin wins Dashing Willoughby at Royal Ascot 2019


Oisin wins Dashing Willoughby at Royal Ascot 2019Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Ahead of his major new documentary, Oisin told The Sun:


Ahead of his major new documentary, Oisin told The Sun:Credit: Netflix


“I’ve been sober since October 7 and am determined to prove I can keep going on the straight and narrow path,” said the jockey.Credit: Netflix

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