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Page last updated at 08:35 GMT, Sunday, 6 April 2008 09:35 UK
Aintree, 5 April, 2008

Timmy Murphy is congratulated by Paul Carberry
Murphy (left) was a popular winner of the sport's most famous race

Winning jockey Timmy Murphy said his Grand National victory on board Comply Or Die was the best result of his 15-year professional career.

The 33-year-old's win in the sport's most famous race caps a superb comeback in what has been a turbulent career.

"This would be the highlight of anyone's career," said Murphy, who has battled alcoholism and been to prison.

"You only have to think of the people who have not even got round, never mind those who have won."

Murphy gave his mount a masterful ride, waiting until the final fence to make the decisive move.

"My main worry was the first fence as he can jump big, but he has been much better with the blinkers on," said Murphy, who also rode Our Vic to victory over Kauto Star in the Totesport Bowl earlier in the week at Aintree.

"He did come up a bit at the first but he settled down after that.

"The plan was to ride him handy, get him into a rhythm and settle him. I hung on for as long as possible as I didn't want to get there too soon.


"He came out of my hands at the last and when I got to the Elbow I thought I would let him go.

"I could feel Paul Carberry (jockey on second-placed King Johns Castle) behind me but when I got to the Elbow my fellow picked up again and went away."

Murphy took over from Tony McCoy as owner David Johnson's number one jockey - in association with the Pipe stable in 2004 - and the move has ultimately proved a huge success for all concerned.

His Grand National win is the crowning achievement in a life and career that have seen more than their fair share of ups and downs.

Murphy served three months in prison in 2002 for an indecent assault on an airline hostess while under the influence of alcohol, and he also spent five weeks in the Priory Clinic battling alcoholism.

He is a real horseman, you couldn't ask for anyone better on your horse in the Grand National

Comply or Die's trainer David Pipe
And despite wins in the Irish Grand National and the Hennessey Gold Cup, Murphy's life in the saddle has also suffered several setbacks.

He was sacked from Kim Bailey's yard for persistently bad time-keeping and lost his job as Paul Nicholls's stable jockey twice, while two drink-driving convictions did little to improve his image.

But his talent has never been in doubt, and his Grand National triumph confirms his place among the elite jockeys plying their trade on the National Hunt circuit.

"He is a very good jockey and on his day he is up there with the best of them," Comply or Die's trainer David Pipe, who won the race in just his second season as a trainer, told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek.

"He is a real horseman, and you couldn't ask for anyone better on your horse in the Grand National.

"He has done amazingly well to come back and all credit to him. It has been a hard road, and he probably never dreamed this was going to be at the end of it for him."

Murphy will not be resting on his laurels, however. He was due to travel to Southwell for two rides on Sunday.

But Pipe confirmed that Comply or Die will not run again this season.

"He will have a nice long holiday, out to grass, before he comes back in next season," he added. "Obviously the long-term objective is the Grand National again."

• Irish jockey Mick Fitzgerald, who was taken to hospital with back injuries after falling from L'Ami at the second fence in the National, was reported to be "comfortable" on Sunday.

The 37-year-old was undergoing further assessment at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

His boss Nicky Henderson said: "He's very battered and very sore, but comfortable.

"The main thing is he is able to move everything, but they are just keeping an eye on him and I think they are taking some more X-rays.

"We are all very concerned, but the important thing is everything is working OK.

"He's had a fair old battering and I would have thought that he will be staying in tonight also."

see also
Comply Or Die wins Grand National
05 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Grand National as it happened
05 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Where they finished in the National
05 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Grand National photos
05 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Kauto beaten on comeback outing
03 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Murphy shows he's the real McCoy
15 Nov 04 |  Horse Racing
Murphy relishing second chance
07 Apr 05 |  Horse Racing
The harder they fall
23 Jul 02 |  Horse Racing
Jockey jailed for sex attack
23 Jul 02 |  England

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