By Mark Brassel
The word ‘sportsman’ sits perfectly with apprentice Michael Murphy who has crossed the border from Queensland to try his luck in New South Wales.
Murphy, 20, hails from Cairns and is in his third year of riding, having already made racegoers sit up and take notice with a victory at his very first ride in this state.
The youngster won aboard $15 shot Most Exalted at Kembla Grange and has already ridden 85 winners up north, including four at Eagle Farm. But what a résumé the lad boasts:-
Golf (competed at various North Queensland Junior Golf Tournaments, winning the North Queensland Championships); Boxing (won North Queensland Gloves at the age of 11); Scuba Diving (Certified an Advanced Open Water diver at 12yo); Pony Club (attended pony club from 5yo); Rodeo (started competing in Junior Rodeos from 9yo, qualifying and competing in the ABCRA junior bull finals in Tamworth at 12yo and 13yo, and was second in the Junior Bronc Bareback at the Melbourne International Invitational Rodeo).
Michael was invited to participate at the Wyong Invitational Rodeo and won two buckles for the Junior Bull Ride and Junior Bareback, and won the buckle for Junior Bull Ride at the Mt Isa rodeo).
“Michael had a very successful career as a rodeo rider until he discovered racehorses and that was the end of rodeo,” said Greg Burke, Murphy’s Rider Agent.
“After riding trackwork for the first time he immediately decided he wanted to be a jockey.
“Michael always wanted to go to Sydney to compete against the best where he believes there is more opportunity than in Queensland.
“His master Chris Munce agreed to give him the chance and he is now on loan for a short time to Anthony and Edward Cummings. Michael has a natural affinity with horses, has excellent hands and a good seat, and is an accomplished horseman.”
Murphy has a 3kg metro claim, a 1.5kg provincial claim and nil claim in the country. He can be booked for rides via Greg Burke on 0407 708 003.
Meanwhile, Hawkesbury Race Club hosts its Beards of Hope charity raceday this afternoon with a big crowd expected.
“We have live entertainment, a kids’ zoo, a bungee run and it’s all free, being the last Sunday of school holidays,” said HRC’s CEO, Greg Rudolph. “There’s also great prizes to be won on course in the ‘lucky loser’ betting draw. We have club prices for the bar with winter specials and XXXX prize packs.”
This Thursday Gosford will stage its Men of League Raceday that will encompass a function for 300 people, raising funds for the Men of League Foundation.
Over the last 14 years the Men of League Foundation has grown to over 26,000 members, with the primary objective to support former players, coaches, administrators, referees, officials and their families who have fallen on hard times.
“Anyone with an involvement in the great game of rugby league or they’re just a fan, will be welcome to come out to Gosford, have a great day and support this worthwhile charity,” said Gosford Race Club’s marketing manager, Hannah Klomp.