Forget form lines, it's the blood lines that really matter in racing because this sport is all about the breeding - and it's not just the horses, writes James Toney.
Oisin Murphy's consistency - he was first to the post once in five last year's campaign - was the story of last season, as was named Britain's Champion Jockey, the fifth Irishman to claim the prize after Pat Eddery, Kieren Fallon, Jamie Spencer and Richard Hughes.
The 24-year old's route to the summit of his sport seemed written in the stars as soon as he arrived, born 13 weeks prematurely in Killarney, Ireland.
His mother Maria believes he developed his fighting instincts from these early days, while his passion for horses was honed riding on his grandfather's knee while he watched racing on television.
Murphy's uncle is Jim Culloty, who famously rode Best Mate to three Gold Cups at Cheltenham, Bindaree to Grand National success and then trained Lord Windermere to Gold Cup glory at Prestbury Park.
After a promising start to his showjumping career, with his first pony still stabled at the family home, a young Oisin spent his young teenage years in Culloty's yard, his future pre-ordained.
He spent time with trainer Tommy Stack in County Kerry and Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle before the family decision was taken to complete his apprenticeship with Andrew Balding across the Irish Sea in Newbury.
"I've only ever had one ambition and it was horses, ever since my first riding lesson on my fourth birthday," said Murphy.
"The first time I rode out for my uncle I knew I wanted to be a jockey and it is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
"When I first came to England it was my first trip aboard on my own. I wasn’t that happy but I knew in the best interests of trying to a jockey this was the right place. I still used to cry down the phone to my mother."
There was one asterisk along Murphy's performances last year, a win in a Classic - a wrong he righted with Kameko’s blazing success for trainer Andrew Balding in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Frankie Dettori, who Murphy admires so much he named his dog after him, famously took 14 attempts to win the Investec Derby at Epsom, the blue riband of the turf.
But Murphy has a live chance to better that in his sixth attempt, as Kameko aims to become the first horse since O'Brien's legendary Camelot in 2012 to follow a win at Newmarket with a success on the Downs.
"To have a live chance is a real thrill," said Murphy, an ambassador for the Qipco British Champions Series and Sporting Life.
"If I do ride Kameko to victory, it won’t be the first time I’ve ridden a Derby winner. Back in 2012 I used to ride Ruler Of The World at Ballydoyle as a two-year-old, so to see him develop into a Derby winner at three was tremendously exciting.
“Since then I’ve ridden in five Derbys, so I’m racking up plenty of experience in the big one around Epsom. The best horses I’ve ridden in the race, Benbatl and Roaring Lion, didn’t stay the trip, so I’m hoping Kameko can get the extra couple of furlongs this weekend. That is the big question and the one I’ve been asked all week.
"Of course, the answer is, we just don’t know if he’ll stay and we won’t know until the final quarter mile in the Derby."
The Investec Derby...— Epsom Downs Racecourse (@EpsomRacecourse) July 2, 2020
One chance for immortality ✨ pic.twitter.com/DXxsuCPUED
The market suggests Dettori is Murphy's main rival on Ed Walker’s English King while O'Brien will fire six Ballydoyle raiders at the race he is attempting to win for a record eighth time, with Ryan Moore on Mogul his principal contender.
"There isn’t one rival I fear the most," adds Murphy. "Every horse in the race deserves to be there. I know how good English King is having sat on him at home, so he’s respected as are all of the Ballydoyle contingent, with Mogul and Vatican City the standouts on form, while Serpentine has the unknown factor.
"But I’m on the best horse in the race. I’m on the fastest horse in the race. He’s the highest-rated horse in the race and he’s already a Classic winner. That’s the bottom line."
Time - and a rollercoaster ride on Epsom's undulating cambers - will tell.