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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Death of former jump jockey Stan Murphy

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Former jump jockey Stan Murphy, who rode successfully in Ireland and Britain in the 1960s and early 1970s, has died following a short illness.

He was 76 and died suddenly in Waterford Regional Hospital on Friday night having undergone surgery for colon cancer.

Born Thomas Stanislaus Murphy in County Tipperary on August 24, 1941, he was apprenticed to John Oxx, father of the trainer of Sea The Stars, and also to Tim Hyde. Murphy rode his first winner at the Curragh in May 1956 on Touraileen, trained by Oxx.

His major wins as a jump jockey in Ireland included the Thyestes Chase on Great Lark, trained by Willie O'Grady, in 1968 and the Powers Gold Cup (now the Ryanair Gold Cup) on Bold Fencer, trained by Phonsie O'Brien, in the same year.

He rode Corrie-Vacoul to win the Benson & Hedges Chase in 1966 and Our Phil to land the Irish Gallaher Hurdle in 1969.

In 1967 he rode Leedsy in the Aintree Grand National and was involved in the famous melee at the 23rd fence, which resulted in Foinavon's shock win.

In 1968 he moved to Durham to join Arthur Stephenson, for whom he won the Cheltenham Hurdle (now the International Hurdle) and the Wills Hurdle on Celtic Gold and the Mildmay Chase (now the Maghull Chase) at Aintree on Rainbow Cottage in 1969.

He enjoyed the biggest win of his career in 1973 when partnering Skymas, trained by Brian Lusk, to win the Mackeson Gold Cup at Cheltenham. That same year he had ridden Skymas to finish second in the Irish Grand National and to win the Drogheda Chase and the Free Handicap Chase, both at Punchestown.

A month after his Mackeson Gold Cup success, Murphy suffered serious head injuries in a road accident caused by an icy road near Cashel when returning as a passenger from Naas races after breaking a collarbone in a fall. His balance was badly affected and he never rode again.

Survived by three sons and a daughter, he will be reposing at Kilbrennal House, home of his close friends Patrick Joyce and Louise Cooper Joyce, at Ballynonty, County Tipperary, from 5pm to 8pm on Friday.

The funeral mass will take place in St Mary's Church, Killenaule, at 11.30am on Saturday followed by burial in Dualla Cemetery.

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He enjoyed the biggest win of his career in 1973 when partnering Skymas, trained by Brian Lusk, to win the Mackeson Gold Cup at Cheltenham
E.W. Terms
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