PUNTERS were left more than a little confused after cameras picked up Oisin Murphy getting tickled by a rival seconds after winning a big race.
Murphy flew all the way over to Kentucky, US, for the big return of 1000 Guineas heroine Mawj on Saturday night.
The Godolphin-owned filly had not been seen since winning the Newmarket Classic back in May.
But she proved awesome on her comeback in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes over 1m1f at Keeneland.
With superstar jockey Murphy grabbing the race by the scruff of the neck and leading from the front, the duo were never caught.
Victory was worth a cool £245,000 for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and Co… but it was what happened in the seconds afterwards that really caught viewers’ attention.
As the cameras panned back to get the horses running after the post, John Velazquez, who finished third on 25-1 Mission Of Joy, can be seen coming up behind Murphy.
It is then he sticks out his left arm and appears to tickle Murphy on the bum.
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Murphy immediately turns his head round to see what is going on as the camera cuts.
One bemused punter posted a clip of the incident with the caption: “Johnny, what ya doing?”
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Attempting to explain what they think they saw, the viewer wrote: “I figured he was congratulating him mostly and I get that it was harmless.
“But oh how I laughed.”
One wrote ‘tickle, tickle’ while another said: “Jockey shenanigans. Fun stuff.”
And a fellow viewer joked: “Oisin nearly jumped out of the saddle.”
Murphy flew over to the States hours after his scintillating Group 2 win aboard Matilda Picotte at Newmarket.
He made all on the Kieran Cotter-trained three-year-old, who could now go for the Breeders’ Cup or be kept away for next year.
A little over 24 hours after that win he was in the States, notching a 500th Group win for trainer Bin Suroor.
The victory was labelled an ‘amazing achievement’ by Godolphin, who have had an otherwise very quiet season.
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