Timmy Murphy has landed the plum job of first jockey to Paul Nicholls’s Powerful Somerset yard.

The Irishman takes over from Joe Tizzard, who will remain with Nicholls and Partner the horses that Murphy does not ride.

Nicholls, who amassed more than £1m in prize-money last season, has been under pressure from a number of his owners to replace Tizzard with a top flight rider. Murphy, who rode regularly for Nicholls during hisearly days of training, fits the bill.

Murphy had ridden regularly for Nicholls until 1998 when the teenager Tizzard was appointed to the job after riding Earthmover to victory in the Cheltenham Foxhunters’ Chase.

Nicholls and Tizzard havebecome good friends and the trainer was faced with The difficult task of breaking the news to the young jockey who has become an Integral part of the stable. But, as Nicholls says, he now has two top class riders at his disposal.