The Winners Enclosure Flat Jockey of the Year for 2018 goes to Oisin Murphy. Aged just 23, the Irishman managed to pick up an astounding six group ones in Britain during 2018.
Group 1 races seemed to be eluding the talented jockey, but in the shape of Roaring Lion he found a willing dance partner after six years of failing to bag black-type races. The exciting three-year-old who came third in the Derby won a first group 1 for trainer and jockey in the Coral-Eclipse back in June. He only won by a neck but this kickstarted a great season for both.
Roaring Lion went on to win the Juddmonte, the International Stakes and the QEII stakes. It was in the latter that Murphy proved all his metal. With the ground a mighty concern for his mount Murphy nursed his horse into contention before heading his rivals deep into the final furlong.
His other group 1 victories included the Qatar Stakes aboard Lighting Spear and the 32Red Sprint Cup with Tin Man.
He also won Group 1 races in Dubai, Germany, France and Ireland during 2018 and has had a truly astonishing year.
Getting the main job for Qatar Racing back in 2016 has proved to be a great decision for his employers and he will be looking forward to achieving much more for them in the coming years.
Whilst Silvestre De Sousa has picked up many winners again in order to win the jockeys championship he has not had enough major wins this year to final the selection.
Furthermore, whilst Frankie Dettori has again enjoyed multiple Group 1 successes with Without Parole, Stradivarius, Cracksman and Too Darn Hot as well as in l’Arc with Enable, it is still impossible to look past this talented young Irishman.
(Credit James Stevens and At The Races)