Oisin Murphy says he wants a ride at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper – and admits he’d ride any horse for Willie Mullins.
Britain’s Champion Flat Jockey has quickly established a reputation as one of racing’s most talented young stars, spending the winter banging in winner after winner in Japan.
But the ebullient 24-year-old – whose uncle Jim Culloty won a hat-trick of Gold Cups on Best Mates – always enviously eyes jump racing’s Cotswolds showpiece.
Flat jockeys are no strangers to the Festival with Jamie Spencer winning the Champion Bumper in 2002 on Pizarro.
Aubrey Brabazon was in the rich tradition of dual-purpose Irish jockeys, partnering Cottage Rake to his three Gold Cup victories and Hatton’s Grace to his first two Champion Hurdle triumphs.
Lesley Piggott is a former winner of the Triumph Hurdle and, more recently, Jonny Murtagh and Pat Smullen have both had rides at the Festival.
“I would absolutely like to race in the Champion Bumper,” he said.
“I genuinely would love the chance, but I don’t want to ride in it on a horse that has no chance of winning though.
“Any of Willie Mullins’s horses I would want to be on. If you want, you can act as my agent and I’ll give you 10 per cent to get me on one of his horses!
“Winning the Champion Bumper, can you imagine how brilliant that would be – it would be right up there for me.”
Murphy has already ‘ridden’ a Gold Cup winner, starting his racing career as a work rider and stable lad for ‘Uncle Jim’, who trained Lord Windermere to success at Cheltenham six years ago.
“I schooled Lord Windermere and Spring Heeled, who won the Kim Muir at Cheltenham,” he added.
“I know I was never going to be jumps jockey because I was too small but I show jumped as a child and jumps racing was what got me into sport.
“That’s why Cheltenham is so special – so if Willie has a spare ride for the Bumper, he should know my number.”