Oisin Murphy is hoping to carry his red-hot start to the new Flat season into a challenge for the jockeys' championship which gets under way this weekend.

Thanks to the exploits of Roaring Lion last year, Murphy is now regarded as one of the leading pilots around at the age of 22.

With the championship launching on the same day as the Qipco British Champions Series at Newmarket this weekend, Murphy has set his sights on toppling his good friend Silvestre de Sousa.

"I've had a good start to the season and hopefully now the race for the title is on, I can keep it going," said Murphy.

"The people I ride for have their horses in great form. I've got a lot of support from many different people - I'm very lucky in that way.

"Thankfully it's been going well so far, but things really start to hot up from this weekend so we'll see where we are in a few months time.

"I tried to win the championship last year and Silvestre was just too good, but I'll have another go this year.

"I sit next to Silvestre every day, with Andrea Atzeni on the other side, so we get on very well. I admire Silvestre so much. He's got an unbelievable work ethic for all he's achieved, to keep going every year as he does - he's outstanding."

Murphy has yet to win a British Classic but went on a Group One-winning spree last summer, which began in March with Benbatl in Dubai.

Roaring Lion's victories in the Coral-Eclipse, Juddmonte International and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes combined with a Sussex Stakes success on Lightning Spear and a win for The Tin Man in the Sprint Cup gave Murphy five wins in last year's British Champions Series - something he is hoping to repeat.

"While we try to treat every race the same, there are definitely a few butterflies for the Qipco Guineas meeting. You look forward to them all winter and it's when all the really good horses start to come out," he said.

"Roaring Lion was an exception, I think. He was well beaten in the Craven and lost in the Guineas before reaching a peak - he took a while to come to hand. This winter on a whole has been pretty kind, although we haven't been on grass much, so it should be a pretty level playing field.

"I was very lucky that a horse like Roaring Lion came along so early in my career. I was only 21 and most jockeys can go a lifetime without getting to ride a horse like him, so I was very fortunate.

"If we've got a star among the Qatar Racing horses this year, it would be Sparkle Roll. She won nicely the other day at Sandown and she could just be one to take us through the Champions Series. She's very nice."

Murphy heads to Newmarket this weekend with a squeak in both Classics on two relative outsiders.

Kick On won a trial at the Craven meeting for John Gosden and will aim to make the Qipco 2000 Guineas a test of stamina, while Andrew Balding's Look Around does not have an insurmountable amount of ground to make up on the favourite Qabala on the Nell Gwyn form.

"John has been very pleased with Kick On, he was very tough in the Feilden," said Murphy.

"Obviously he's coming back a furlong, so he should stay well. In a wide-open race, hopefully I can use his experience and go forward. He's won twice on the Rowley Mile, which can only be a plus.

"Look Around worked very well on Wednesday. I didn't get the run of the race in the Nell Gwyn against Qabala, I was further back than I wanted. She'll appreciate going a mile and she's a tough filly."