Oisin Murphy’s mount Discover Dubai sadly had a fatal fall at Chelmsford. He and jockeys’ title rival Will Buick had one winner apiece during the evening fixture
Oisin Murphy had a heavy fall on the night he maintained a two-win lead over title rival William Buick at Chelmsford.
The card, just a few days ahead of the final of the competition, was marred by the incident involving Murphy.
His mount Discover Dubai came down on the home turn of the fourth race and was sadly fatally injured.
Murphy was thrown clear of the horse and walked back to the weighing room to take up his final three rides.
Racing fans anticipating the close battle on the night were left saddened by the loss of the race favourite.
One said on Twitter : “That was awful thoughts with all who loved Discover Dubai.”
Another added: “Very sad for Discover Dubai and the yard.”
The dual champion jockey saw his title lead cut to one when Buick took the mile novice riding 9-1 shot Typical Woman.
Murphy responded immediately, guiding the Jamie Osborne-trained Notions home in the 7f novice event.
He has 151 winners compared to Buick’s 149 – and the pair go head-to-head again at Haydock on Friday.
Murphy told Racing TV: “I’ve been here before and I know this feeling well. It’s not much fun, it’s a lot of pressure. We should be enjoying it, but it’s not that enjoyable. I’m doing my best and trying to make the most of the opportunities I’m getting.
“I have nice rides tomorrow and at Ascot on Saturday and I must thank my agent and my trainers for putting me up, without the horses you don’t get to ride winners – I need to make the most of every chance I get.”
After securing one win each, both sportsmen had a second place partnering a favourite.
Buick’s loss was more of a shock, as his horse Lord Lovelace was only 2-9f to triumph.
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QIPCO British Champions Day brings the championship to a top class conclusion on Saturday.
Paddy Power shortened Murphy to 4-7 (from 4-6) to retain his crown and eased Buick to 11-8 (from 11-10).
Spokesman Paul Binfield said: “Jockeys are masters of precision timing and while most of this week it’s looked like William was timing his title challenge perfectly, a score draw tonight means we now feel Oisin is one step closer to securing his championship hat-trick.”