CHAMPION apprentice Eddie W. M. Lai endured a summer of ups and downs in England, but last night's double for trainer Gary T. K. Ng was just the start to the season he was looking for in what will be his last in the claiming ranks. Lai delivered the double in the opening two events when Perfect Sport (2.7-1 favourite) and Able Regal (8.8-1) made the most of the short straight to land the spoils. The opening 1,200-metre Class Six event did appear to be just what the front-running Perfect Sport was looking for and Lai rated him well to hold off the late challenge of Add More (7.9-1) and Wendyll Woods. There was just a neck in it on the line but Lai had stolen the race at the turn. Fighting Strike (13-1), with 10-pound claimer Eric K. W. Lee aboard, rattled home to fill third. Lai had a little more to spare on the line in the Class Four longer sprint when adopting similar tactics on the progressive Able Regal. The son of Vice Regal worked to the lead down the back and was given a breather into the final bend before forging clear in the straight. Basil Marcus chased him home aboard Cavalo (4.7-1) while No Competitor (18-1) kept Club Jockey Glen Boss in the prize money by snatching the tierce spot. The talented Lai, 23, was the toast of Sandown in July when he made all atop the Mark Johnston-trained Yavana's Pace in the coveted Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy - the richest handicap on the British calendar. And the importance of the occasion was not lost on the three-pound claimer, who impressed with his polished attitude and heady tactics. But Lai was brought crashing back to earth when he was involved in a nasty fall in a minor race in the north of England. That stopped his summer 'holiday' in its tracks, but he has returned a more rounded and accomplished rider. 'I really feel that my time in England has helped me a lot. Experiencing the different styles of racing is invaluable. Of course it helps if you have good rides. 'It's always great to get your first winner of the season, but two on the same night is the perfect start.'