IRISH-AMERICAN jockey Declan Murphy, who has thrilled racegoers in at least four different racing jurisdictions, has called it a day. Murphy, whose Hong Kong career was particularly successful, decided against taking out a licence at Taipa for the coming season, having moved to Macau three years ago. Murphy's career featured a constant battle against weight and it is unlikely that any rider has seen more lettuce leaves than the former New York apprentice. He lived on little else for years. As in Hong Kong, Murphy enjoyed considerable success at Taipa, riding largely for trainer-brother Joe. But now it is officially all over. 'I have had a tremendous time and enjoyed nearly all of it. But there comes a time when you have just had enough of wasting to make any sort of weight. 'It was well worth coming across to Macau when Joe got the licence and it has been a pleasure to ride for him,' said Murphy, who is already well down the road to a new career. Murphy has been buying horses for Hong Kong and Macau for several years and he now intends to devote most of his time to expanding that business. Apart from buying in America, he has made several successful forays to Ireland. His Hong Kong purchases have included Heavily Armed and Orlando Magic with Geoff Lane and Leprechuan, who is with Derek Cruz. 'I enjoy it and it keeps me very firmly in touch with what is going on in racing in the places that I know best,' he said. Murphy's consistently excellent performances over the years - he rode for trainer Eddie Lo Kwok-chow for several seasons - were also characterised by enormous strength in a finish. He could use the whip with telling effect and his perseverance and vigour pulled many a race out of the fire. 'I have great memories of Hong Kong and a lot of great people that I met and was associated with. But I look on it as just one part of my career in racing finished. Another has opened up,' he said. While accolades were flying for the sandmesh surface at Sha Tin, it would seem that there are nervous vibes about Happy Valley which hosted the first night meeting of the season on Wednesday. The seven races appeared to have taken their toll on the track, which may have accounted for the fact that a certain Jockey Club employee was not permitted to cross the track en route for home at the end of the meeting. The chap involved is admittedly quite large but it is doubtful that he would have added to any deformities in the track. All involved in racing in these parts will send their best wishes to Canadian jockey Jack Lauzon, hospitalised after a bad fall at Taipa. But he has not been forgotten by friends in Macau who have organised a golfathon next Wednesday at the Country Club course on Coloane. Two lusty lads will attempt to get as many holes of golf in as possible between dawn and dusk. They are being sponsored and it is hoped that a considerable sum will be raised for the luckless Lauzon. Irish Thoroughbred Marketing supremo Matt Mitchell is in Hong Kong on a flying visit in advance of the annual Goffs Yearling sales next month. As a result of his persuasive talents it is expected that Hong Kong trainers will be reasonably represented. Mitchell is a welcome visitor but the smile may have been wearing a little thin when he was told for the fifth time: 'See, you've brought the Irish weather with you.'