The simple answer is yes, they are. Oisin Murphy, who became British Champion Jockey for the first time in 2019 is, in fact, the nephew of Jim Culloty, best known as the jockey of three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate and Grand National winner Bindaree.
Raised in Killarney, County Kerry, in southwestern Ireland, Murphy originally harboured an ambition to become a showjumper. However, at the age of 14 he began riding in unsanctioned horse races, colloquially known as ‘flappers’, contested by bona fide racehorses, but ridden by children. By his own admission, race riding did not come naturally to the young Murphy and, on reviewing the races in which he had ridden, alongside his uncle, was often reduced to tears by the pitiless criticism of his riding ability.
Nevertheless, Murphy perservered as a jockey and, in 2013, became apprenticed to Andrew Balding at Park House Stables in Kingsclere, near Newbury, Berkshire. That September, Murphy hit the headlines by riding a 9,260/1 four-timer on Ayr Gold Cup Day, including the winner of the Ayr Gold Cup itself, Highland Colori. In 2016, Murphy succeeded Andrea Atzeni as the only jockey retained by Qatar Racing and it is in the familiar claret with gold braid colours that he has enjoyed his finisest moments. Indeed, it was in those colours that he rode his first Group One winner, Roaring Lion, in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park in July, 2018.
At the time of writing, Tom Marquand has recently hit the headlines by riding his first Royal Ascot winner, Who Dares Wins, in the Queen Alexandra Stakes, just 24 hours after his partner, Hollie Doyle, did likewise on Scarlet Dragon, in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, for the same connections. Earlier in 2020, with British racing suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, Marquand continued to ply his trade, behind closed doors, in Australia. Indeed, on March 20, he recorded his first Group One victory on Addeybb, trained by William Haggas, in the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill and his second, on the same horse, in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick the following month.
Winning trainer William Haggas said of Marquand, ‘…I’ve said several times I believe him to be a future champion over here. I hope he stays in England to prove it.’
Born on March 30, 1998, so still only 22, Marquand has enjoyed a spectacular rise through the ranks. A graduate from the field of pony racing, he became apprenticed to Richard Hannon in 2014 and rode the one and only winner of his debut season, the two-year-old Mecado, in a four-runner selling stakes race at Kempton in December that year. However, less than a year later, in October, 2015, Marquand was crowned Champion Apprentice, edging out his nearest rival, Jack Garrity, 54-52 on the final day of the season.
Unsurprisingly, Richard Hannon Jnr. is the son of four-time Champion Trainer Richard Hannon Snr., from whom he officially took over the training licence on January 1, 2014. Hannon Jnr. is, in fact, one of triplets; his brother, Henry, is a property dealer and his sister, Elizabeth, is the wife of jockey-turned-trainer Richard Hughes.
Born on November 21, 1975, Hannon Jnr. worked as assistant trainer to his father for twelve years and made an immediate impact in his debut season as a trainer in his own right. His first runner, Unscripted, won a maiden stakes at Wolverhampton by ten lengths on January 3 and, buoyed by the patronage of leading owner Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, never really looked back. He won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket with Night Of Thunder, the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury with Olympic Glory and the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot among many other high-profile races. At the end of the 2014 season, he had racked up 206 winners and earned £4.7 million in prize money, which was sufficient for him to succeed his father as Champion Trainer.
Hannon Jnr. has developed a reputation for his ability to produce precocious juveniles, but has continued to enjoy success across all age groups. In 2018, he won the 1,000 Guineas for the first time with Billesdon Brook – at 66/1, the longest-priced winner in the history of the first fillies’ Classic – and has won at least one Group One race in every season since taking over from his father
Ryan Moore was crowned Champion Jockey in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and would surely have won the jockeys’ title in 2007, too, but for a broken right arm, sustained in a fall at Lingfield in March that year, which kept him out of action for three months. Nevertheless, Moore still finished third in the jockeys’ championship and, that November, became stable jockey to Sir Michael Stoute.
Indeed, three years later, in 2010, Ryan Moore rode his first Derby winner, Workforce, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah and trained by Stoute. Sent off at 6/1 joint-third favourite for the Epsom Classic, the King’s Best colt made short work of the opposition, winning by seven lengths and, in so doing, beating the previous track record set by Lammtarra fifteen years earlier.
Workforce went on to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp but, in 2011, Moore was widely expected to become stable jockey to Aidan O’Brien at Balldoyle, County Tipperary, Ireland. That move failed to materialise as anticipated, but Moore continued his informal, but nonetheless effective, association with O’Brien, which would yield numerous Group One and Grade One victories in Britain, Ireland and the United States. Indeed, O’Brien supplied Moore with his second Derby winner, Ruler Of The World, who maintained his unbeaten record by defeating eleven rivals, including better-fancied stable companion Battle Of Marengo, in the 2013 renewal.