He might have become a cult hero when his first ride in South Australia produced a winner, but these days, Hong Kong-born apprentice Matthew Poon, 22, is not only one of the most popular jockeys in the state, he’s right up there in the jockeys premiership.

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We’ve been following him ever since the HKJC sent him to the Thoroughbred Racing South Australian Apprentice Academy to hone his craft under the watchful eye of Bill Forrestal while gaining experience riding against senior jockeys before returning to Hong Kong in June, and the 23-year-old has been quite a revelation.

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From a get-out-in-front and lead-at-all-costs rider utilising his handy weight allowance, he’s fast becoming the complete jockey and improving all the time with huge stable support from top trainer and his master in Adelaide Richard Jolly.

There isn’t a meeting that goes by without Matthew Poon riding a winner- last weekend he came from the clouds to win on a 61 to 1 outsider- and, as mentioned earlier, he’s very popular with racing fans. In many ways, Matthew Poon today is what Kei Chiong was when she started to hit her stride last season.

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Never short of rides in Queensland, one really hopes this young apprentice’s talent and enthusiasm to ride isn’t wasted in Hong Kong, where he’s left sitting in the Jockeys Room and watching the races. Matthew Poon is much too good for that. In fact, he could very well be the best Hong Kong-born apprentice- and a new racing hero for local racing fans.