DECLAN Murphy last night had his careless-riding ban reduced by a Royal Hongkong Jockey Club appeals panel after a three-hour hearing. The panel, headed by Jockey Club deputy chairman John Swaine, deliberated for 40 minutes after hearing the evidence before reducing Murphy's ban from four to three meetings. Murphy, riding Morning Patrol, was originally censured for his role in the scrimmaging at Happy Valley on February 24 which led to the fall of King Prawn in which Gerald Mosse broke his right collarbone. The suspension comes into effect from tomorrow, leaving Darren Gauci to partner Murphy's two intended rides. After the hearing, Murphy said: ''In my own mind I have no doubt that I was not guilty at all of careless riding - no way. ''Given the circumstances, if I were in judgement on myself I would say that I did a good job. ''But obviously, three days is better than four and I have to say I had a very fair hearing indeed. The panel listened patiently to what I had to say and the very fact they reduced the sentence shows they must have taken on board some of the points I raised.'' Murphy is likely to take a few days off and visit his brother Joe who has been having a brilliant first season as a Macau-based trainer. The Jockey Club's appeals panel will have to sit again shortly as Irish champion jockey Mick Kinane yesterday decided to appeal against the three-meeting ban imposed on him for his riding of Great Admiral at Sha Tin on Saturday. Yesterday Kinane made a special trip to Happy Valley with trainer David Oughton to see the stewards' footage of the race. Kinane said: ''I will be presenting fresh evidence to the appeals panel. We have seen something on the film which was not brought up at the original hearing.'' Trainer Derek Cruz was last night relieved to hear that Kinane is now free to partner International Bowl favourite Concert King in his lead-up race, Sunday's ATV Cup. Meanwhile, Lester Piggott flies out of Hongkong tonight but the maestro is keen to come back for another month's stint next season. Piggott rode four winners during his stay, showing all his brilliance when pouncing late on the erratic All Thrills last Saturday as well as making every yard of the running on his other three successes. He is returning to England where the flat season starts with the traditional Doncaster fixture a week on Thursday. Piggott said last night: ''I've really enjoyed my month's stay. ''It was a big help to have someone to ride for here like Ivan (Allan) and I'd like to do it all again next season.'' Piggott, 57, is hoping to add another chapter to his fairytale comeback. ''There's a horse I think a lot of in Vincent O'Brien's stable,'' he said. ''He could make up into a Derby contender. It would be something special if I could win one more Derby.''