‘One on One’ with David Murphy

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It has been a while since we have had a ‘One On One’ profile and after a couple of beers with David Murphy after a recent raceday I thought it would be great to learn a bit more of his background as he is a very good trainer who seems to have a constant flow of good results with a relatively small team.

He is a well-respected bloke and a guy who would have a bit of fun around the track.


Gibbo: Thanks for catching up with us David. First off where you born and raised mate?


No worries Gibbo, nice to catch up.

My Family was born in Cribb Island and raised in Cribb Island and then moved to Brisbane.

David Murphy


Gibbo: How did you first get into racing? I believe it was through riding?


Many reasons and influences were behind me getting into racing.  I was small in size so that suited the industry, my cousin Peter Murphy was a Jockey, my uncles Reg Fleming and Ralph Murphy were trainers and my uncle Dudley Murphy was also a Jockey – and though he lost his life through a fall in a race on Exhibition Wednesday in August, 1952 at Eagle Farm – this did not deter my drive to be a jockey.

My first experience was when I moved to Sydney to ride work with Theo Green who had so many great apprentices, Darren Beadman, Malcolm Johnson, Ronnie Qinton just to name a few.  Then I moved back to Brisbane where I was apprentice to my Uncle Reg Fleming.


Gibbo: Do you really miss the race riding or are you enjoying the challenge of training?


At first I missed it terribly; I couldn’t even go to the track because I couldn’t stand seeing what I was missing out on.  You just want to get amongst it!  But the reality was that I got to heavy and life goes on.

Do I enjoy the challenge of training?  I love it!  It is hard work with a small team and the big guys just keep getting bigger.  Hopefully the next few months will see a few more winners on the board from my stable.





Gibbo: You were riding for Reg Fleming? And then when weight got the better of riding you starting working for Bart Cummings? Around what age was that?


Yes I was riding for Reg and then when the weight got the better of me, being heavy limited my opportunities.  I rode for a year or two as a Senior Jockey and it was a struggle.  At 23 I moved to Melbourne to ride the hurdles for Bart Cummings.


Gibbo: After the stint with Bart where did racing take you?


I went to Dubai for around 7 years and rode work, rode in the amateur races and worked the barriers.  I worked for two different South African Trainers and learnt a hell of a lot.

I also went to Malaysia and was offered a job in Ipoh which I declined and headed home to Hendra, Australia to train under my own stables.


Gibbo: How many do you have in your stable and what is the number you would like to have in the future?


Currently I have 13 in my stable and my stable has the capacity for 16.  I am very lucky that my stable always has a good number of horses and with a good success rate.  My ideal number is anything from 13 to 16 so I am pretty happy how things are going.  More importantly is that my team are able to attend to 16 horses at any one time, so having our stable at capacity still means that each and every horse is trained to its full capacity.


Gibbo: What is the best horse you have had anything to do with? And what made it so good?


Without a doubt – Never Under Charged.  This was the first horse I galloped for Bart Cummings in Melbourne.  As a two year old it had two runs, a first and a last.  It came back as a three year old and no one liked it – I did though – and it won something like six in a row.  One win was the Stradbroke Handicap sitting five deep the entire.  No better feeling when you know a horse has got potential and everyone is telling you that it hasn’t then next thing it achieves what seems the impossible.  That is racing – winners are addictive.



Gibbo: If you weren’t a trainer what would David Murphy be doing with himself?


A publican, my uncles Harry Geiger & Nick Geiger were both publicans.  My pub would definitely have a TAB in it though.


Gibbo: Any hobbies outside of racing you enjoy?


I follow the Rugby League and also enjoy following and going to Boxing / Fight Nights.  I have a large circle of friends in the Boxing community and my good mate Brian Webb runs the Fortitude Boxing Gym in the Valley.


Gibbo: What’s your play if you are down to your last $100?


Hopefully it will never happen – but if it did then, when in doubt back the top weight!


Gibbo: Thanks for giving us some time mate, I am sure people will have enjoyed the read and the chance to find out a bit about your background.


I’m sure everyone wishes David Murphy and his team all the best in the future. I know I will be catching up for more beers around the track where possible and a chin wag about the ‘nags’.


Check out David’s  website by clicking on his picture or this link: