National winner Timmy Murphy to ride on Flat
Last Updated: 01/05/15 4:36pm
Timmy Murphy is set to start his new career as a Flat jockey at Brighton on Wednesday.
The jockey, who counts the victory of Comply Or Die in the 2008 Grand National amongst his career highlights, is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Graham Lee and Jim Crowley who have both left the National Hunt sphere to continue riding on the level.
Murphy has been out of action since January 2014 when he suffered a dislocated shoulder for a second time in three months.
However, he reports himself to be back in good health and ready to embark on a new stage of his career, teaming up with agent Simon Dodds.
He said: "I'm very excited to have made the decision to continue my career as a Flat jockey. I've had a fantastic time as a jump jockey and I'm extremely grateful to have achieved so much.
"I'm really enthusiastic to further my career as a jockey and seen how it can be done by my former colleagues Graham Lee and Jim Crowley.
"There are huge opportunities on the flat. I'm in great health, my weight lends itself to the sport and it will no doubt prolong my career.
"Simon Dodds will be booking my rides."
Outlining immediate plans, Dodds said: "Timmy rang me a couple of months ago saying he was interested in riding on the Flat and I was more than happy to look after him.
"He is riding around 9st and has two rides at Brighton on Wednesday.
"He is really looking forward to it after the successes of both Graham Lee and Jim Crowley."
Murphy enjoyed a terrific association with the late David Johnson, who was a staunch supporter of the stylish pilot.
As well as Comply Or Die, Murphy numbered big-race wins on the likes of Our Vic, Well Chief, Celestial Gold - on whom he landed the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Hennessy Gold Cup in the same season - and Contraband in the famous Johnson silks.
Ferdy Murphy's Poker De Sivola was another notable Johnson-Murphy winner when claiming the bet65 Gold Cup at Sandown in 2011.
Murphy struck Grade One gold five times on the Michael Hourigan-trained Irish star Beef Or Salmon, won the Greatwood Hurdle on future chasing great Sizing Europe and even landed the Elite Hurdle on a young Azertyuiop for Paul Nicholls.
Dual Scottish National success famously came on the Andrew Parker-trained Merigo in 2010 and 2012.
Comply Or Die's trainer David Pipe said: "Timmy was quite similar in style to Graham Lee, so I don't see why it shouldn't work as well for him.
"It doesn't get bigger than winning the Grand National and we'll always have that together. I wish him well. He's always been fairly light, so the weight should prove no issue.
"If it pays off for him like it did for Graham then I'm sure he'll be very successful."