DECLAN Murphy freshly underlined his claims to champion jockey status at Taipa with a ride that mixed patience, understanding and gritty determination in winning the $420,000 Macau Gold Cup yesterday. Topweight The Wheel (4-1 favourite) was given the full benefit of the Murphy riding repertoire in capturing the second most important trophy on the Taipa track and trainer-brother Joe plus owner Stephen Ng had every reason to be effusive in their praise. The Wheel may well have looked the logical choice for the race but he was being asked to carry the strength-sapping burden of 140 pounds over 2,000 metres. But Murphy, who shot to early stardom in New York and then had a five-year, success-laden career in Hong Kong, tends to be in a class of his own in Macau. And when it came to the crunch Murphy, very strong in a finish, pulled out the stops and The Wheel, with enough left in the tank, responded gamely to post a half-length win over lightly weighted Perfect Perfect (38-1), to whom the winner was conceding 24 pounds. ''He's a very good horse . . . the best around here. This was a typical fighting performance from him . . . he never shirked it at all,'' said Murphy, gaining his biggest single victory since moving to Taipa last September. And Murphy paid due tribute to trainer-brother Joe, saying: ''The Wheel has been aimed at this race for a long time and he was absolutely ready to run his best race. He could not have been in better shape.'' Weight almost certainly put paid to Super (4-1) who faded for fourth when the questions were asked while boom galloper Medipal finished last, officially many lengths from the winner. Robin Parke was in top form on Macau Gold Cup day, tipping 28-1 winner Good Fortune and finding the day's biggest quinella. That was a whopping $3,934.80 in the ninth race with the pairing of Stormy Leader and Wah Sun. His best bet, Wah Sun, finished second paying 16-1 for the place.