Jockey brought back to earth after first-up win

Hong Kong apprentice jockey Matthew Poon. Picture: Mark Brake
Hong Kong apprentice jockey Matthew Poon. Picture: Mark Brake

IT was a truly a day of highs and lows for apprentice Matthew Poon when he made his Hong Kong riding debut at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Poon, who recently returned to Hong Kong after a hugely successful 18 months in Adelaide, claimed a winner at just his fourth ride when he led throughout on the John Moore-trained Happy Meteor.

But the celebrations were short-lived, with Poon knocked unconscious while trying to hop aboard his mount in a later race.

The 23-year-old was taken to Prince of Wales Hospital at Sha Tin but was cleared of any serious damage.

It's uncertain if Poon will be cleared to compete at the Sha Tin meeting next Sunday. He is not yet permitted to ride at Hong Kong's other racetrack, Happy Valley.

Moore told the South China Morning Post he was impressed by Poon's debut outing in his home town.

"I was really happy to kick him off with a first win and it was just unfortunate what happened to him later in the day," Moore said via phone from Dubai.

"I've spoken to his boss David Hall and it sounds like Matthew will be up and running again soon, so we wish him all the best. We will be one of his chief supporters in the future."

Poon could well have claimed a winning double on his first day, with Penang Hall, who he had been booked to ride later in the day, winning easily for replacement rider Derek Leung Ka-chun.

Hall said Poon had contacted him before that race to wish him luck.

"It could have ended up being a really good day for his first day, but he still had a winner so we will focus on the highlights," Hall, who began his career in Adelaide, said.

"I think there will be a lot of interest in him. His first couple he looked a little bit anxious and nervous and maybe he was feeling the pressure a little bit. Now that he has the win I'm sure he is going to improve."

News Corp Australia

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