Fitness race for returning Murphy
JOCKEY Declan Murphy is battling to be fit to ride at tomorrow's Taipa meeting following a trackwork incident that wrenched his shoulder.
The Irish-American star, whose aggressive performances wowed Hong Kong fans for five years, ends a two-meeting suspension for careless riding after today's Taipa meeting - and was eagerly looking forward to his return.
''I wrenched the shoulder a couple of days ago and I have seen a doctor in Hong Kong. Basically it requires rest but I am still hoping that I will be fit to ride.
''It will be a last-minute decision. I am also a bit cheesed off because I was looking forward to playing golf with some of the guys who have come over from Hong Kong,'' Murphy said.
A number of Hong Kong racing people were at Coloane yesterday for the Noel Barker Memorial tournament.
The tournament is in memory of the former dual champion jockey of Hong Kong who was tragically killed in Sydney.
During his spell in Hong Kong he had organised a number of golfing trips for Sha Tin-based jockeys and trainers.
The blank weekend in Hong Kong gives the struggling Macau Jockey Club (MJC) a definite chance to boost totalisator turnover at Taipa.
Once again there are full fields for most races on both days and a competitive look to the card which certainly augurs well for the MJC.
American jockey Billy Fox has slipped quietly back into the Taipa scene over the past four weeks.
He was in Macau briefly two years ago but packed his bags for home after a disappointing stint.
But he could be on the right track in the second event at Taipa today where he partners the George Williams-trained Polomyx, who will certainly be suited by the 2,000-metre trip.
This is a moderate Class Four field but plenty of attention will also be paid to Quality Lad.
And in the fourth event, topweight Always Victory could give trainer Kenny Man an overdue victory.
Man has a large stable but winners have been scarce although this fellow looks on target for the Class Three, 1,200-metre event.
Likeable Frenchman Claude Piccioni is on top.