How many times has Oisin Murphy failed a racecourse breath test?

Oisin Murphy, who was champion jockey in 2019 and 2020, hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, not for the first time, on Friday, October 8, 2021. For the second time in his career, Murphy failed a racecourse breathalyser test and was consequently stood down for the day by the stewards and referred to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Disciplinary Panel.

Murphy led the jockeys’ championship by 11 winners at the start of the day and his five rides at Newmarket were to have included Mise En Scene in the Group 1 Bet365 Fillies’ Mile. Murphy tweeted that his test result had been ‘under the drink-drive limit [35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath] but over the riding limit [20 micrograms per 100 millilitres]’.

Murphy first failed a racecourse breathalyser test at Salisbury on June 16, 2019, as a result of which he was stood down for the day and received a caution. Fortunately for him, his latest infraction fell outside the 24-month timeframe stipulated by the BHA and, as such, is treated as a ‘first offence’, rather than a ‘second offence’, for which a 10-day ban is the entry point. Of course, Murphy also served a three-month ban, imposed by France Galop, after testing positive for cocaine at Chantilly in July, 2020, so may need to moderate his off-course behaviour if he is to remain at the top of his profession.