Timmy Murphy: looks like missing Hennessy for second successive yearPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Timmy Murphy injured in fight with Elsworth
TIMMY MURPHY has been ruled out of the Hennessy Gold Cup, missing the ride on leading fancy Our Father after suffering the recurrence of an old shoulder injury sustained in a scuffle with fellow jockey Dominic Elsworth at Newbury on Friday.
Murphy, who won the race in 1999 on Ever Blessed and again in 2004 on Celestial Gold, was forced to give up his ride in the concluding race and was taken to hospital, with the on-course stewards stating no incident had been reported to them by the doctor.
There was speculation Murphy had been injured as the result of an altercation with another jockey, and the Daily Mirror has named Elsworth as the other party.
An anonymous eye-witness said the pair came to blows following the fifth race on the card, with Elsworth finishing second on Easter Meteor, two places ahead of Murphy on Upsilon Bleu.
The onlooker said: "A few words were exchanged at the end of the race, but it was once the two were back in the changing room that tempers really frayed.
"It's well known the two jockeys aren't exactly best mates, and before you knew it they were rolling around on the floor."
Former weighing room colleague Mick Fitzgerald discussed the incident on Channel 4's Morning Line, and revealed that Murphy had called Elsworth to apologise.
Speaking on Friday evening, Murphy's wife Verity said: "He has hurt his shoulder so I would say it is unlikely he will ride tomorrow. It's not 100 per cent yet, they are just x-raying it and checking it out.
"It's an old injury and it's clicked out, which it does a lot. It's the left shoulder that he has hurt before."
With Murphy ruled out Pipe confirmed on Saturday morning that Conor O'Farrell will now ride Our Father.
Elsworth is set to be in action at Newbury again this afternoon, with his sole ride Loch Ba for Mick Channon in the Hennessy.