Jockey Oisin Murphy faces five-year Japan ban after testing positive for cocaine in France


Former Japan Cup winner Oisin Murphy faces five-year ban from riding in the East Asia country after testing positive for cocaine in France

  • The 25-year-old jockey has forged a significant link with Japan
  • Last year Murphy won the prestigious Japan Cup in Tokyo on Suave John 
  • He also partnered Mitsuru Hashida-trained Deirdre to success in Nassau Stakes

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy’s three-month ban for testing positive for cocaine while riding in France could rule him out of lucrative rides in Japan for the next five years.

The 25-year-old, whose suspension starts on December 11, has forged a significant link with Japan, partnering Mitsuru Hashida-trained mare Deirdre to success in the 2019 Group One Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and riding there during the last two winters. 

Last year Murphy won the prestigious Japan Cup in Tokyo on Suave John, a race which carried a first prize of close to £2.2million.

Oisin Murphy’s cocaine ban could rule him out of lucrative rides in Japan for the next five years

Nobu Furuta, an official at the Japan Racing Association’s London office, said licensing applications were judged on a case-by-case basis, but added: ‘Japan is very strict in drug cases and the JRA does not favorably look at the applications of jockeys who have been penalised for roughly five years. I assume Oisin Murphy will be treated basically in the same manner.’

Meanwhile, spectators return to English racecourses today at Haydock, Lingfield, Ludlow and Kempton.

Sportspeople who test positive for cocaine could be banned for just a month under new rules. From January 1, if an athlete proves they took the drug out of competition, they will face a maximum three-month sanction — down from two years. And offenders can cut their punishment by a further two months by doing a rehab programme, prompting criticism the changes give drug users a green light.



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Clouds over champion jockey Oisin Murphy’s Breeders Cup bid as prospect of six-month ban looms


Clouds over champion jockey Oisin Murphy’s Breeders Cup bid as six-month suspension looms if B-sample is returned positive for cocaine

  • Oisin Murphy is set to be crowned champion jockey when the season ends 
  • The Irishman saw off a challenge from William Buck to take the crown again 
  • Murphy is gunning for a victory in the Breeders’ Cup on Kameko on Saturday 
  • However, Murphy is awaiting the results of his B-sample for his cocaine positive

Oisin Murphy goes in search of his first Breeders’ Cup win on Kameko in the $2m Mile at Keeneland on Saturday as his season reaches its climax amid a bizarre mix of glory and uncertainty.

Having seen off the spirited challenge of William Buick, 25-year-old Murphy will be crowned champion jockey for the second time in his absence at Doncaster as the Flat Turf season draws to a close with the November Handicap meeting.

But, uncomfortably for Murphy and the sport, the outcome of a positive test for cocaine while riding in France on July 19 remains unresolved with the results of a ‘B’ sample yet to be announced and the prospect of a six-month suspension hanging in the air.

Oisin Murphy is set to be crowned champion jockey for the second time in his career 

The Irishman is aiming for a victory on Saturday in the Breeders Cup for the first time

The Irishman is aiming for a victory on Saturday in the Breeders Cup for the first time 

Having already faced a France Galop medical commission, Murphy is still awaiting a disciplinary date hearing.

He admits his toe-to-toe battle with Buick and the prospect of riding top horses like Kameko, the 2,000 Guineas winner trained by Andrew Balding and owned by his boss Sheik Fahad Al Thani, has been a welcome distraction.

The jockey, who insists he has never taken cocaine and has submitted hair samples which have tested negative to support his case, said: ‘The way the season has gone it will be very gratifying to get over the line in the championship and get the job done.

‘On a personal level, it has been a tough year. I have had a lot on my shoulders but I have put everything into it.

Murphy is staring at a six-month ban for cocaine his his B-sample does not return negative

Murphy is staring at a six-month ban for cocaine his his B-sample does not return negative 

‘It has been great to have a focus on good horses to ride like Kameko and I got a huge buzz out of Dream of Dreams winning the Haydock Sprint Cup. That came at a poignant time because I had only received the news (of the positive test) a couple of weeks earlier.

‘I still don’t know what the outcome will be with France Galop. That is frustrating. I will keep riding until we find out any more. I still hope to prove my innocence.’

Victory in the $2million Mile for Kameko is unlikely to make any suspension easier to endure but it would be a ‘thank you’ from Murphy to Sheik Fahad for the support through turbulent times.

Kameko has held his form well and, having sidestepped heavy ground at Ascot’s Champions Day last month, it is a bonus that he gets his favoured fast ground in an unseasonably warm Kentucky.

The jockey denies ever having taken the drug, and has continued to thrive through 2020

The jockey denies ever having taken the drug, and has continued to thrive through 2020 

Mile opposition is European heavy with Aidan O’Brien’s Queen Anne Stakes winner Circus Maximus, who was fourth last year when the race was run at Santa Anita, and Ger Lyons-trained Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Siskin.

Europe has won 22 of the 36 runnings of the mile and a half $4m Turf and is represented by Aidan O’Brien’s seven-time Group One winner Magical, stablemate and Grand Prix de Paris winner Mogul, John Gosden’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner Lord North and Dermot Weld’s Prix Vermeille and Prix de L’Opera winner Tarnawa.

The latter will be now be ridden by Colin Keane after jockey Christophe Soumillon tested positive for Covid-19. 



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Gosden seeks new rider for Stradivarius in the Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe after Atzeni ruled out


John Gosden seeks new rider for Stradivarius in the Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe after Andrea Atzeni ruled out by quarantine rules

  • Andrea Atzeni has a perfect three from three record on Stradivarius
  • But jockeys face eight-day isolation period when returning from France 
  • Longchamp ride would mean missing Future Champions meeting at Newmarket

John Gosden is looking to use a French jockey on Stradivarius in the Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp on October 4 with Covid-19 quarantine arrangements meaning few British-based jockeys will cross the Channel to ride in Paris.

An eight-day isolation period for jockeys returning from France — an elite athlete arrangement — means jockeys who ride at Longchamp would have to miss the Future Champions meeting at Newmarket featuring the Fillies’ Mile and Dewhurst Stakes, both Group One prizes, the following week.

That has ruled out Andrea Atzeni, who has a perfect three from three record on Stradivarius, because of his retainer to owner Sheik Mohammed Obaid, who has Zabeel Queen entered in the Fillies’ Mile.

John Gosden is looking to use a French jockey on Stradivarius in the Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe

Gosden said: ‘It is most likely it will be a French jockey because if it is a British one they then can’t ride in the big races at Newmarket. We will look it through with (owner) Bjorn Nielsen.’

Frankie Dettori, who rides Gosden’s dual Arc winner Enable in the race, has ridden Stradivarius in 17 of his 26 races.

Gosden used four-time French champion jockey Ioritz Mendizabal when Mishriff won the French Derby in July and has also used vastly-experienced Olivier Peslier in the past.

Meanwhile, eight-time Arc winning trainer Andre Fabre has confirmed Persian King, winner of the one-mile Prix Du Moulin on his latest run, will take his chance in the half-mile longer Arc.



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Overseas jockeys allowed to ride on Group One racedays in Ireland after changes to Covid-19 guidance


Overseas jockeys allowed to ride on Group One racedays in Ireland after the Irish Government revises guidance on Covid-19 quarantine protocols for athletes ahead of Longines Irish Champions Weekend 

  • The Irish Government enforced a 14-day isolation period for any new arrivals
  • But Ireland have now changed their coronavirus regulations for sportspeople 
  • Elite athletes – including jockeys – now no longer have to quarantine in Ireland
  • The Longines Irish Champions Weekend begins in the country next week

Overseas jockeys will be permitted to ride on Group One racedays in Ireland following a change to Covid-19 quarantine protocols for sportspeople.

The Irish Government has enforced a 14-day self-isolation period for anyone arriving in Ireland from all but a handful of locations, with the UK on the list of nations which required that quarantine spell.

That has meant no riders based outside of Ireland have competed across the Irish Sea, with British trainers having to work around the protocols to send runners across so far this summer and Irish-based jockeys that have ridden in Britain or France, such as Colin Keane, Seamie Heffernan and Billy Lee, having had to isolate on return.

Overseas jockeys are now allowed to ride on Group One racedays in Ireland this year

However, with Longines Irish Champions Weekend on the horizon next week, Horse Racing Ireland had appealed to the Government for clarification regarding exemptions for elite athletes and sportspeople.

The Government has now revised its guidance, allowing riders to compete without spending 14 days on the sidelines subject to strict measures, but HRI chief executive Brian Kavanagh has underlined the changes will only apply for the biggest racedays and will be restricted to a small amount of jockeys.

He said: “We have had a change in the Government protocols concerning sportspeople and athletes published today, but it is very much on a case-by-case basis.

The decision was made ahead of next week's Longines Irish Champions Weekend

The decision was made ahead of next week’s Longines Irish Champions Weekend

“It will be limited to a small number of riders and only for Group One races.

“Jockeys travelling to ride would be at the lower end of the risk scale as they are operating in secure environments, but it will be on a case-by-case basis.

“Each application will be risk assessed by the medical officer, with risks around contact in travel managed and health checks both before and after.”

The change in policy means Ryan Moore, who flew to Ireland last Saturday to start his quarantine ahead of Champions Weekend, will now be able to jet back to the UK to take part in Saturday’s Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Moore opted to start his self-isolation in order to ensure he would be available to ride the likes of Magical and Battleground on what is the biggest weekend of Flat action of the year in Ireland.

It also opens the door for William Buick to potentially make the trip should Charlie Appleby decide to run the world’s highest-rated horse, Ghaiyyath, in the feature Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday week.



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Caleb Ewan outsmarts Sam Bennett to win Tour de France stage three as Alaphilippe retains lead 


Caleb Ewan outsmarts Sam Bennett to win Tour de France stage three as Julian Alaphilippe retains lead

  • Caleb Ewan won Tour de France stage three in hilly ride through Alpine foothills
  • The Australian overtook Sam Bennett to earn his fourth stage win of the Tour
  • France’s Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey
  • However, Briton Adam Yates could overtake Alaphillippe with stage four victory

Caleb Ewan hopes to ‘keep winning’ after taking victory in a sprint finish to stage three of the Tour de France in Sisteron, denying Sam Bennett on the line.

Australian Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) appeared from nowhere to weave his way through a congested bunch and pass Irishman Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step) just before the finish line.

Italian and European road race champion Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT) finished third while Julian Alaphilippe held on to the yellow jersey.

Caleb Ewan celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the third stage of the Tour de France

The 26-year-old Australian celebrates on the podium after his fourth stage win of the Tour

The 26-year-old Australian celebrates on the podium after his fourth stage win of the Tour

It was Ewan’s fourth Tour stage win after three victories on his debut last year and after the race he said: ‘The last few days haven’t been great for us, after we crashed on the first day and lost a couple of guys.

‘But everyone stayed motivated and we all knew if it all went right, I could win the sprint today. Everyone today gave it 110 per cent and it worked.

‘This is the biggest race in the world and I’m so happy to get another win and prove last year wasn’t a fluke. I hope to keep coming back and keep winning.

‘With the calibre of sprinter here it’s always going to be hard but we have a few more opportunities and I think we’ll take them when they come.’

Ewan displayed excellent bike handling skills to navigate his way through a chaotic finish. The 26-year-old narrowly avoided Peter Sagan’s back wheel and the right-hand side barrier to get onto Bennett’s wheel before he kicked clear with tremendous speed at the 50-metre marker. 

Lotto Soudal rider Caleb Ewan (C-R) sprints to win ahead of Ireland's Sam Bennett (C-L)

Lotto Soudal rider Caleb Ewan (C-R) sprints to win ahead of Ireland’s Sam Bennett (C-L)

‘I was a bit too far forward in the final kilometre so I dropped back and gave myself a bit of a rest,’ said Ewan ‘Coming from behind is a bit of a risk but I got through past the barrier and had the speed in the end.’

Three-time world champion Sagan faded to finish fifth but picked up enough points to replace stage one winner Alexander Kristoff in the green points jersey.

The high octane finish to the race was in contrast to a largely sedate day, with France’s Jerome Cousin spending 110km off the front alone before he was swept by the peloton with 16km to go.

Cousin had been in a breakaway with compatriots Benoit Cosnefroy and Anthony Perez, who was forced out of the race with a broken collarbone after he suffered a puncture and crashed into his Cofidis team car.

Britain’s Adam Yates is still second overall, while defending champion Egan Bernal has moved up two places to sixth.



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Frankie Dettori faces quarantine after France trip, returning to UK after taking Deauville victory


‘I made the right choice to come’: Frankie Dettori faces quarantine after France trip… returning to the UK after taking Deauville victory on Palace Pier

  • Frankie Dettori made a worthwhile weekend racing trip to across the channel 
  • The 49-year-old  jockey took victory on Palace Pier and Mishriff at Dauville 
  • He will now be forced to quarantine under the government COVID-19 protocols 
  • Dettori will sit out of the Ebor meeting at York, but was pleased with his decision 

Frankie Dettori’s decision to cop a spell in quarantine for riding in France over the weekend was easily justified when he decisively landed the Group One Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on John Gosden-trained Palace Pier. 

The 49-year-old must sit out this week’s prestigious Ebor meeting at York in line with COVID-19 protocols imposed on travellers arriving from France by the Government on Saturday morning. 

Dettori, who also won Saturday’s Group Two Prix Guillaume D’Ornano on Gosden’s French Derby winner Mishriff, described Palace Pier as ‘special’ as the colt beat Royal Ascot winner Alpine Star three-quarters of a length with a five-length gap back to third-placed Circus Maximus.

Frankie Dettori enjoyed a successful weekend trip to France, taking two race victories 

The 49-year-old jockey will now be due an eight-day quarantine when he return to the UK

The 49-year-old jockey will now be due an eight-day quarantine when he return to the UK 

The jockey said: ‘I made the right choice to come. I knew I had two super horses to ride. I was very taken with Palace Pier. The ground was testing and that is the best opposition he has faced. He put it to bed in great style.

‘He is half asleep in the mornings at home most of the time but, wow, when he comes to the races he is a proper horse.’ 

Palace Pier, unbeaten in five races, missed the 2,000 Guineas but beat Pinatubo when landing the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and he now looks the best three-year-old miler in Europe.

Dettori rode Palace Pier to his first win and was impressed by the John Gosden-trained runner

Dettori rode Palace Pier to his first win and was impressed by the John Gosden-trained runner 

A shot at Sussex Stakes winner Mohaather in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on October 17 could be next up for Palace Pier.

Dettori is looking even further ahead. He added: ‘He has only run five times. I hope he stays in training. He has a lot more to offer next year.’

With elite athlete rules reducing quarantine to eight days, Dettori now intends to stay in Normandy this week and ride Wesley Ward-trained Royal Ascot winner Campanelle in Sunday’s Group One Prix Morny before sitting out a quiet week of racing in Britain. 

Meanwhile, Paul Hanagan returns to action with two rides at Beverley on Tuesday. The two-time champion has been sidelined since suffering career-threatening back injuries in a fall at Newcastle in February.



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Frankie Dettori to miss York’s Ebor meeting after opting to ride in France this weekend


Frankie Dettori to miss York’s Ebor meeting after opting to ride in France this weekend despite new Covid-19 travel rules

  • France to join UK’s quarantine list from 4am on Saturday after coronavirus spike
  • Anyone travelling back across the Channel will need to quarantine for 14 days
  • Despite new Covid-19 travel rules, Dettori opted to travel to Deauville

Frankie Dettori admits he is ‘gutted’ to be missing next week’s four-day Ebor meeting at York while he quarantines after deciding to ride in France on Saturday and Sunday.

Despite new Covid-19 travel rules being imposed by the Government from 4am on Saturday morning, Dettori opted to go to Deauville.

Principally, he has gone to ride French Derby winner Mishriff in Saturday’s Group Two Prix Guillaume D’Ornano and St James’s Palace Stakes winner Palace Pier in Sunday’s Group One Prix Jacques Le Marois for his boss John Gosden.

Frankie Dettori to miss next week’s Ebor Festival at York after opting to ride in France

When he returns on Monday the 49-year-old Italian will have to go in quarantine for 14 days although he could reduce that period by having two negative tests within a week under elite athlete exemption guidelines.

Dettori will miss the ride on Lord North in Wednesday’s Group One Juddmonte International Stakes but said the fact Enable and Stradivarius, the two most important horses he is currently associated with, miss the Ebor meeting made the decision to sacrifice the fixture easier.

Dettori, who drove to France on Friday, said: ‘When I heard the Government announcement on Thursday evening I nearly choked on my glass of wine. It was a very hard decision — I am potentially missing two weeks’ work — but I had a chat with John and we decided it was the best thing to do. I have two very good rides and the prize money in France is currently a lot better than in Britain.’

It was announced earlier this week that Enable will use the September Stakes at Kempton as her prep-race ahead of her bid to win a fourth Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October, rather than attempting to win Thursday’s Yorkshire Oaks for a third time.

James Doyle now rides Lord North in the International Stakes, as he did when the gelding won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. The 14 entries are headed by Eclipse Stakes winner Ghaiyyath.



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Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Saturday, June 20


Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Saturday, June 20

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Saturday’s meetings at Ripon, Kempton and Newmarket.

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Saturday’s meetings

KEMPTON

ROBIN GOODFELLOW

4.50 Sarsaparilla

5.20 Seneca Chief

5.55 Comeonfeeltheforce

6.25 King Zain

6.55 Gregorian Girl

7.25 High Commissioner

7.55 Kings Highway

8.25 Mabo

GIMCRACK

4.50 Spark Fury

5.20 Cool Strutter

5.55 Lacan

6.25 King Zain

6.55 Chloellie

7.25 Motivate Me

7.55 Swiss Cheer

8.25 Mabo

RIPON

ROBIN GOODFELLOW

4.30 All About Charley

5.05 Dandy’s Max

5.35 Montalvan

6.10 Victory Angel

6.40 Bossipop

7.10 Streak Lightning

7.40 Najashee

8.10 Gulf Of Poets

8.40 Eastern Sheriff

GIMCRACK 

4.30 Stream

5.05 Dandy’s Max

5.35 The Golden Cue

6.10 Slowmo

6.40 Abel Handy

7.10 Streak Lightning

7.40 Palazzo

8.10 Amjaady

8.40 Eastern Sheriff

NEWMARKET 

ROBIN GOODFELLOW

12.30 Lexington Dash

1.05 Magical Max

1.40 Sky Angel

2.15 River Nymph

2.45 Ventura Ocean

3.20 Montather

3.55 Al Maysan

4.25 Holy Kingdom

GIMCRACK 

12.30 Lexington Dash

1.05 Ivatheengine

1.40 Star Cactus

2.15 Lion Tower

2.45 Deep Intrigue

3.20 Sunray Major

3.55 Al Maysan

4.25 Volcanic Sky

 



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Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Friday, June 19


Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Friday, June 19

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Friday’s meetings at Lingfield and Newmarket.

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Friday’s meetings

LINGFIELD

ROBIN GOODFELLOW

4.25 Equally Fast

5.00 Mutazawwed

5.35 Intrepid Italian

6.05 Rommel

6.35 Byzantia

7.05 Pioneering

7.35 Decora

8.05 Janus

GIMCRACK

4.25 Equally Fast

5.00 Elected

5.35 Sir Rodneyredblood

6.05 Rommel

6.35 Byzantia

7.05 Pioneering

7.35 Pawpaw

8.05 Janus

Northerner – 4.25 Tabaahy (nb); 5.00 Mutazawwed (nap).

NEWMARKET

ROBIN GOODFELLOW

12.20 Jimmy Sparks

12.50 Colonel Frank

1.25 Haqeeqy

2.00 Productive

2.35 Exceptional

3.10 Annie De Vega

3.45 Peace Prevails

4.20 Tulip Fields

GIMCRACK 

12.20 Cliffcake

12.50 Real Estate

1.25 Haqeeqy

2.00 Gladice

2.35 Nehaall

3.10 Annie De Vega

3.45 Blowing Dixie

4.20 Tulip Fields

 



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Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Thursday, June 18


Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Thursday, June 18

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Thursday’s meetings at Redcar and Newmarket.

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Thursday’s meetings

REDCAR

ROBIN GOODFELLOW

4.20 Locket

4.50 Isle Of Lismore

5.25 Sibaaq

6.00 Buccaneers Vault

6.30 Ginger Max

7.00 Tombolo

7.30 Nkosikazi

8.00 Make It Rain

8.30 Chinese Alphabet

9.00 Alexanderthegreat

GIMCRACK

4.20 Locket

4.50 Diamond Haze

5.25 Sibaaq

6.00 Magical Effect

6.30 Ginger Max

7.00 Dream Location

7.30 Geetanjali

8.00 Zoran

8.30 Imperial Focus

9.00 Kensington Art

Northerner – 6.00 Queen Of Kalahari (nap); 6.30 Ginger Max (nb)

NEWMARKET

ROBIN GOODFELLOW

1.00 Speed Merchant

1.30 William Bligh

2.05 Arigato

2.40 Ricetta

3.15 Escape The City

3.50 Al Aasy

4.25 Theheartneverlies

5.00 Vision Clear

GIMCRACK 

1.00 Charming Spirit

1.30 Master Of The Seas

2.05 Burford Brown

2.40 Kannoor

3.15 Slade King

3.50 Arabic Welcome

4.25 Trinity Girl

5.00 Fox Vardy



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