Aiming for the Champion Apprentice title this season is a young jockey who has already made his mark in a short time

One young jockey with his eyes firmly set on winning the Champion Apprentice title has already made a big impression with his style and ability.


Apprentice jockey Michael JM Murphy

Apprentice jockey Michael JM Murphy

Michael J M Murphy is 20 years old, with a riding weight of just 8stone 2lbs. Since he arrived in the country from his native Ireland he has clocked up 43 winners in less than a year and has certainly caught the eye with his enthusiasm and ability.

He doesn’t come from an orthodox racing background and is the first in his family to enter the racing world.

“None of my family had been involved with horses and it was just by chance that I had the opportunity to ride,” he told me.

Back in Wexford he belonged to a youth club as a teenager and  with other members went riding once a week for six weeks. The bug had bitten and he was so keen to continue that he got a job in a riding school.

Michael J M Murphy

Michael J M Murphy

“Then I applied and was accepted at the Racing Academy in Ireland and was determined to become a jockey. It was very difficult to find openings in Ireland and I began to look around to see what was available in England,” he added.


He heard that trainer Alan Jarvis, who is based in Twyford, Buckinghamshire, was looking for an apprentice and wrote to him.

“I was lucky enough to be taken on by him and I had my first ride for Mr Jarvis on Mativia Bay at Nottingham on June 6 last year- and it was my first winner.

“It was really weird because it was the sixth of the sixth month and I was number 6 and the horse was drawn in stall six!” he recalled

From that point he hasn’t looked back and rode three winners at Glorious Goodwood last year, two for Alan Jarvis- Lady Gibraltar and Annie’s Fortune- and one for Mark Johnston, Landaman.


Michael on board the Alan-Jarvis trained Swift Bounty at Goodwood

Michael on board the Alan-Jarvis trained Swift Bounty at Goodwood

 His target for this season is to be Champion Apprentice. And looking at his statistics for both seasons, he could well achieve it.

A £1 level stake on all his rides this season, where he has ahd 30 winners, would have reaped more than £52 profit. His strike rate at Goodwood is 67 per cent and he has won at  courses all over the country.

Michael is in demand by other trainers and his latest victories include a win for trainer Tony Newcombe  at Salisbury on Thursday night where he rode 11-2 shot Dunhoy to victory.

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