Murphy breaks his duck on the Flat
Grand National-winning rider Timmy Murphy yesterday claimed his first winner as a fully-fledged Flat jockey at Wolverhampton, where he rode Houdini to victory in the six-furlong handicap.
Murphy had been on the sidelines since the beginning of 2014 due to a shoulder injury before having his first rides on the level at Thirsk last Saturday evening.
Just three rides into the next chapter of his illustrious career, the Kildare native was seen to great effect on the three-year-old, which is trained by his former weighing-room colleague Jamie Osborne.
Murphy had been due to return at Brighton last Wednesday but the meeting was called off after only two races due to high winds.
The jockey who rode Comply Or Die to victory in the 2008 National is hoping to emulate the likes of Jim Crowley, Graham Lee and PJ McDonald, who have all made a success of switching to the level having made their names riding over jumps.
Houdini was sent off at 7/1 and held off Arlecchino's Leap by a head. "It's great he's got it under his belt so quickly," said Osborne. "He's been riding out three or four times a week for me for the best part of two months now.
"Timmy is and always has been a great horseman and if you saw that race, he didn't look like a man having his third ride on the Flat. In my eyes if you can ride, you can ride.
"I can't believe he is where he is with his weight but he did 9st comfortably there and didn't look bad on it, he seems strong and healthy.
"He's just a phenomenally good jockey, he's a good bloke and I'll be using him when I can. If I can help him make a good go of it, then I will do."
Meanwhile, Mount Athos, third in the 2013 Melbourne Cup, has been retired by Marco Botti.
The eight-year-old began life with the late John Hills, for whom he won the Melrose Stakes, and was later purchased by Dr Marwan Koukash.
He was trained in Ireland for a spell by David Wachman before being sent to Luca Cumani, who enjoyed some great days with the son of Montjeu.
Moved to Botti for the start of last season, injuries have prevented him from making it back to the track.