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Champion jockey Murphy can't wait to race again

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Jockey Oisin Murphy. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Jockey Oisin Murphy. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Jockey Oisin Murphy. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Champion jockey Oisín Murphy is relishing the prospect of getting back to the business of riding winners when racing makes its eagerly-awaited return today.

Like everyone else, Murphy, 24, who has three rides on the opening day at Newcastle, has had to find ways to keep occupied since the coronavirus lockdown brought racing to a halt in Britain in mid-March, but he is raring to go.

He said: "I suppose the first six weeks of lockdown I could hardly ride out, but the last fortnight or so I've been able to go into different stables and have a feel of some horses. That gives me a focus to my day, otherwise it's very difficult to just roll out of bed and have nothing to do or work towards."

Numerous strict protocols will be in place on racecourses, where the action will be behind closed doors, but Murphy fully expects riders and other personnel to cope well.

He said: "There won't actually be any need for us to get within two metres of each other. We are fully versed on the protocols and I feel comfortable that we can adhere to them correctly."