Matt's Monday Yeeehaa – Oisin Murphy is back from cocaine ban on Friday and our man reckons he'll be better than ever

LET’S talk racing!

In recent days there’s been so much negativity but of course at the end of the day many of you reading this just love horse racing and the incredible sport that it is. So let’s enjoy.

Friday is a big day. Because on Friday Britain’s champion jockey will be back in action at Lingfield.

Yes, it’s the return of Oisin Murphy. And only this morning Oisin was riding work at the track getting his eye in.

And, while so many film sequels get worse rather than better, I fully expect 'Murphy 2' to return better than ever.

Murphy, of course, was given a three-month ban after testing positive for cocaine. But the Irishman denied any wrongdoing – blaming some sexy contact – and said investigators accepted he had not taken the drug.

So we move on.

It’s fair to say the break might well have done Murphy good, rather than harmed him in any way.

Remember Kauto Star and his fall? He came back rejuvenated and raring for it. I expect the same with Murphy.

I’ve had the odd insight into Murphy’s time away, and it’s fair to say he’s not done badly for himself in every sense. So he’ll be raring for it.

Look, some of you will always think he was guilty and got away lightly, but it’s time to put that behind you now.

Murphy is a unique champion jockey in that he not only has super talent but speaks about the game differently to most. We need him. But he needs us as well.

So my message is keep yourself in good company from now on Oisin. And show your parents and all of us what a special person you are.

Just one more ‘The Monday Yeeehaaa’ before Cheltenham, and while we all know it’s going to be different in 2021 we also all know that we will all love each and every moment.


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The atmosphere on track will be lacking. But the sport will be just as brilliant as ever.

Let’s not forget that many many more people watch the Festival at home than go to the track. And plenty of those on track never actually see a race live!

So I ask you all wherever you are to stand up and roar as the tape goes up for the start of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. To feel the passion and joy that a few of us will be lucky enough to enjoy on the course.

I’ll be there each and every day for ITV, and I’m fully aware that I’m not only lucky to be on the team but extremely fortunate to be able to see the Festival live.


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