Riding legend Brent Thomson is to quit the saddle at the end of this Macau season. Thomson, 42, winner of virtually every Group One contest in the Southern Hemisphere outside of the Melbourne Cup, a top rider in Europe when first jockey to Robert Sangster in the mid-1980s and then stable jockey to Brian Kan Ping-chee and Eddie Lo in Hong Kong until the end of the 1992 season, is to pursue a bloodstock career en route to training. The popular four-time W.S. Cox Plate hero explained: 'I'm going to see the season out over here but after that I feel it will be the right time to change direction and have informed the licensing committee that this is my intention. 'I will almost certainly relocate to Melbourne but the Asian bloodstock market remains buoyant and I expect this will be my main focus. 'I know there's plenty of others doing the same business already but I've been lucky enough to make a number of good contacts during my time out here and am already looking forward to the fresh challenge. In the meantime, I'll be trying to go out with as many winners under my belt here as possible.' Besides his four Cox Plates, Thomson's roll of honour includes three Caulfield Cups, a VRC and AJC Derby, three Adelaide Cups and a Perth Cup. Many of these came in the late '70s and early '80s during a halycon period as stable jockey to the late, great Colin Hayes. Hayes snapped up Thomson after he sprung to fame as a dual champion apprentice of his native New Zealand. He went on to win three Victorian championships under the Hayes aegis before becoming one of the most powerful jockeys in Britain, where his biggest triumph came on Sangster's quality stayer, Gildoran in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. Also leaving Macau is their dual Derby-winning trainer Dan Murphy, who is to pursue a training career in Newmarket, England. Murphy has already collected a team of 20 horses and is likely to be using fellow Irishman John Egan as his stable jockey. Murphy, whose departure at the end of the month will deprive Macau of one of its most talented handlers, said: 'I've had five fantastic years out here but the opportunity came up to train in Newmarket and it is too good an opportunity to pass up.'