Racing

It's full steam ahead for the 'Poon Train'

Hong Kong apprentice has big book 
of rides this weekend

Popular Hong Kong apprentice jockey Matthew Poon hopes to bring his winning streak to Singapore in the next two weeks.

The 23-year-old has been cutting a swathe that began in Adelaide, Australia - where he had a cult following and was given the nickname "Poon Train" and continued in his hometown in the last five months.

Poon makes his Kranji debut this weekend with a potential book of nine rides, including Faaltless for his master for two weeks, Shane Baertschiger, in the $200,000 Group 3 Garden City Trophy on Sunday.

It will be a baptism of fire for the young rider who is also getting "warmed up" for the new Hong Kong season which kicks off on Sept 3.

He is here under the auspices of Thoroughbred Racing South Australia and the Singapore Turf Club as the Dux of South Australia.

Every year in the last seven years, TRSA sends its best apprentice jockey for a short-term attachment to a Kranji trainer in order to gain further riding experience. This is the first time TRSA is being represented by a non-Australian.

Poon was a hit in the last two years spent in Adelaide, bringing up a total of 73 winners before the headquarters asked him to come home. But Adelaide did not forget to reward Poon even after he left.

"It's my first time riding in Singapore and I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Poon who arrived in Singapore on Monday afternoon.

"(Baertschiger's assistant-trainer) Scott Bailey has helped me settle in and has shown me around. He also helped me get rides.

"I've already had my first bit of trackwork and I rode for quite a few trainers. I can't wait for my first rides this weekend."

Poon for one is not feeling any pressure and will be using the Singapore stint as a springboard to the new Hong Kong season where he intends to try for the title.

"Dylan Mo won the premiership last season. It's very competitive but I will do my best and we'll see how it goes," he said.

Poon has already ridden 15 winners from 81 rides in Hong Kong. He claims 3.5 kilos in Hong Kong but will be claiming just two kilos at Kranji.

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