Now retired from the sport, Timmy Murphy was one of the better national hunt jockeys on the circuit for many years, with his partnership alongside trainer David Pipe helping the pair of them elevate their reputations.
Born on August 20th, 1974, Murphy was able to win the UK’s greatest race, the Grand National, once during his career. That win came in 2008 aboard Comply Or Die for Pipe, and the pair almost followed up a year later when they finished second.
Towards the end of his career, Murphy switched codes to ride on the flat, but his best success certainly came over obstacles, and that is where he will be best known.
Timmy Murphy Grand National Wins
- 2008 - Comply or Die trained by David Pipe
|2013||Weird Al||Fence 23 - Pulled Up||-||Donald McCain Jnr|
|2012||Weird Al||Fence 27 - Fell||-||Donald McCain Jnr|
|2011||Comply or Die||Fence 28 - Pulled Up||-||David Pipe|
|2010||Comply or Die||12||-||David Pipe|
|2009||Comply or Die||2||£190,980||David Pipe|
|2008||Comply or Die||1||£450,640||David Pipe|
|2007||Celtic Son||Fence 22 - Pulled Up||-||David Pipe|
|2006||It Takes Time||Fence 29 - Pulled Up||-||Martin Pipe|
|2005||It Takes Time||4||£35,000||Martin Pipe|
|2004||David's Lad||11||-||A J Martin|
|2003||Torduff Express||Fence 27 - Unseated Rider||-||Paul Nicholls|
|2002||David's Lad||Fence 27 - Fell||-||A J Martin|
|2000||Flaked Oats||Fence 20 - Fell||-||Paul Nicholls|
|1999||Tamarindo||Fence 6 - Fell||-||Martin Pipe|
|1998||Court Melody||Fence 6 - Fell||-||Paul Nicholls|
|1997||Dakyns Boy||8||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
First Grand National Win In 2008 On Comply Or Die
In his 12th attempt to win the race, Timmy Murphy finally landed the Grand National in 2008. He did so aboard Comply Or Die, a horse that he would go on to ride a total of four times in the race, but it was the first one that would bring them success.
This success was also a first win in the race for trainer David Pipe, who took over from his dad Martin, someone who won the race in 1994. For both Murphy and Pipe Jnr, it was undoubtedly a monkey off their backs.
On the day, there was considerable support behind Comply Or Die, and that pushed him in to be one of the two 7/1 joint-favourites as the race began. If you want to know where that came from, look no further than his trainer. After the race, Murphy told the media that Pipe had told him the horse was a certainty to win the race, such was his lenient handicap mark ahead of the contest.
David Johnson, a big name in the world of national hunt racing, particularly in the 90s and 00s, was given his first Grand National win at the 21st attempt, watching his colours win the race with great delight.
The race looked like giving us a grandstand finish, with multiple runners together as they jumped the last. However, as other got tired, there was no signs of Comply Or Die stopping, and while he didn’t power away, he was undoubtedly the strongest horse up the run-in.
He eventually recorded a winning distance of four lengths, justifying the market support and stable confidence that had been around on the day of the race.
Struggles Off The Track
Unfortunately, during his career, Murphy struggled to cope with weight issues and various other aspects of being a jockey. This led him to alcohol, and during his riding career, he was given a three-month sentence for being drunk on an aeroplane and had to leave his career behind briefly.
He got help and returned stronger, winning the Grand National after this, as well as countless other races. In 2015, he turned his attention to the flat racing scene, which is easier on the body due to falls being very limited but tougher because you have to weigh less in these races.
This was towards the end of his career, and while he did ride winners on the flat, he will forever be known as a jumps jockey as far as racing fans are concerned.
Connection With David Pipe
When Timmy Murphy won the Grand National, he did so on a horse trained by David Pipe. The pair had a strong bond, with Murphy riding regularly for Pipe, and they had a unique amount of pressure on their shoulders.
Prior to taking over the license at the yard, David’s father, Martin Pipe, was the trainer and had a lot of success in the sport. He won countless races at the Cheltenham Festival, was feared with his handicappers and won the Grand National too.
He did all of that with multiple champion jockey Tony McCoy as his rider. When David Pipe took over, naturally, he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders to perform, and when Murphy was signed up to be stable jockey, he got the same amount of pressure by trying to follow in the footsteps of McCoy.
The pair had success, though some will say they did not achieve as much as they should have. However, just like Pipe SNR and McCoy, Pipe Jnr and Murphy certainly had their moments in the sun.