Same results but a different backdrop
TURN the clock back a couple of years and it could have been Sha Tin with Declan Murphy, Tony Ives and Wendyll Woods all riding winners and being engulfed by well-wishers.
However, the scene was Taipa with only 4,514 on course and a very moderate $15.8 million put through the totalisator yesterday.
But a winner's a winner and the former Hong Kong-based trio certainly weren't complaining, particularly Ives who had one ride on the 10-race programme and made the most of it.
Favourite Yau Tai Fortune (5-2) won the eighth event for the Yorkshireman with the minimum of fuss and bother, but Murphy was involved in the day's most dramatic victory.
Normally, Declan would have returned to scale escorted by delighted trainer-brother Joe - but there was a twist to the tale of success in the top-rated fourth event yesterday.
Jockey Declan got the last out of 7-1 chance All Smiles to win the Classes One and Two, 1,400-metre event in the last two strides - just touching off the Claude Piccioni-ridden Rock N Roll (7-1). The runner-up was trained by Joe Murphy who put up the French rider when Declan could not do the weight.
''As they say in this game, that's what racing is all about,'' said Joe.
Winter visitor Woods continued his happy start when partnering Bronze Venture to victory in the second event. The Charles Leck-trained four-year-old won handily, pleasing owner Frank Chao who has Gold Venture with Lawrie Fownes - Wendyll's uncle - in HongKong and more with brother Sean Woods at Newmarket.
Trainer Leung Wing-leung, who is appealing against a three-month suspension for a positive swab, put those worries behind him when Pilot Lantern (2-1) made it a hat-trick of wins with success in the 2,000-metre seventh event.