Horse Racing

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy returns from drugs ban this week

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has three rides booked for his return to competitive action at Lingfield on Friday.

The 25-year-old was banned for three months after a racecourse test, taken at Chantilly in July, found traces of cocaine in his system.

Murphy, top UK Flat jockey for the last two seasons, with 168 and 142 winners respectively, always strenuously denied taking the drug.

Upon receiving the results of his B sample, France Galop held a hearing where the rider’s defence of environmental contamination from a sexual encounter and scientific hair test evidence was accepted.

At this time of year, Murphy would normally have been competing in big races overseas.

During his time on the sidelines, he has been focusing on his fitness at jockeys' facility Oaksey House and riding horses out on the gallops.

Murphy's comeback ride will be aboard Rain Gauge in the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Novice Stakes (1.30).

The three-year-old's trainer James Tate has also booked him for Sky Commander in the Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Handicap (2.05).

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His third ride on the card is He Can Dance in the Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Handicap (2.40).

Murphy, champion apprentice in the 2014 season, will then be racing at Chelmsford on Saturday evening.

On Tuesday, the first day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, he is scheduled to make the trip to Newcastle.

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