Shrewd jockey Matthew Poon Ming-fai capped a race-to-race double at Sha Tin on Sunday with his 100th winner in Hong Kong.

The popular young jockey has cemented himself as one of the go-to local riders among trainers who are looking for weight relief with his two-pound claim.

It was only fitting the 25-year-old’s milestone came up while riding for his former boss David Hall on the improving Quadruple Double in the Class Four Carnarvon Handicap (1,200m).

The Australian trainer praised Poon’s South Australian training prior to coming to Hong Kong, saying he did not arrive with an inflated ego despite his cult-like following Down Under.

Quadruple Double kicks clear at Sha Tin on Sunday.

“He came here with a big reputation because he did a fantastic job in South Australia,” Hall said. “He was well-educated and everyone was looking forward to him being apprenticed in Hong Kong.

“He is a very honest, kind, hard-working boy, you’d think he’s 18 but he’s not.”

While he is softly spoken, Poon asserts himself on the race track and that was on display on the Sha Tin all-weather track on Sunday where he produced a well-timed wire-to-wire victory on Megatron in the Class Five Cameron Handicap (1,650m).

“He was great when he was with me, it was terrific and obviously it gets a lot harder when they lose their claim but Matthew is so hard-working, he is very diligent and is well-liked by the trainers, he gets plenty of support as a result, I think he is going to be here for a long time,” Hall said.

“His ability might not be Zac Purton or Joao Moreira but he ticks a lot of other boxes and he rides light, he has a good future.

“He is a very hungry, genuine and hard-working kid, that is what gets him there.

“He has always had a little bit of confidence about him all the way through and I think South Australia did that for him and gave him that, but he is not over-confident, he handles himself very well.”

After going under as a short-priced favourite last start, Hall said he tinkered with the idea of sending Quadruple Double to Happy Valley.

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“I just wanted to experiment with him at Happy Valley because you would think a horse with that sort of speed would be perfect there,” he said.

“But we trialled him there and he didn’t seem to like it so the plan was to come back here.

“It was a pretty tough run when he charged away and led by six [last start], it was a little bit crazy.”

Matthew Poon after Quadruple Double’s win.

Poon appeared to be in trouble halfway down the straight when The Abraxas loomed up outside of him but Quadruple Double found again to power away.

Class Three now beckons for the recently gelded galloper and Hall said he would be happy to experiment over more distance in time.

“I said to Poon that at some point I will test him at 1,400m because I think he might be able to sustain that speed for a little but longer but right at the minute, 1,200m is his go for sure,” he said.

Chang and De Sousa go the full Monte

They hadn’t combined since the corresponding race meeting a year ago but it proved to be a profitable reunion for trainer Michael Chang Chun-wai and jockey Silvestre de Sousa at Sha Tin on Sunday, with the pair saluting with Mister Monte.

Sent out at $7.8, De Sousa took advantage of an all-weather surface favouring front-runners in the Class Four Chinese General Chamber Of Commerce Cup (1,800m), opting to sit outside of leader Curling Luxury before easing Mister Monte to the front 700m from home and storming away to win.

Silvestre de Sousa with Michael Chang after the win of Mister Monte at Sha Tin.

It was only the 10th time De Sousa had ridden for Chang, with their best previous result a fourth, and it handed the Brazilian rider his third win at the fourth meeting of his short-term stint, with the fourth following four races later aboard Caspar Fownes’ Enfolding.

Chang now has four winners for the term, drawing him level with Dennis Yip Chor-hong at the bottom of the trainers’ premiership.

After winning only once at his first 31 Hong Kong starts, Mister Monte has now saluted twice this season after winning over 1,600m on the Sha Tin turf in September.

Heavyweights split points

Champion jockeys Zac Purton and Joao Moreira have both spent time on the sidelines in the last fortnight but neither was able to capitalise on their rival’s absence.

With Moreira missing two meetings last week, Purton was able to boot home four winners, bringing him to within three of the Brazilian.

That was short-lived, however, with Moreira responding with four of his own while Purton sat out the last two race days, including Sunday’s Sha Tin card.

Joao Moreira throws his goggles into the crowd after winning on Follow Me.

Purton could have been excused for thinking he was going to escape one-up on Moreira before the last event, but it wasn’t to be with the John Size-trained Follow Me bursting clear in the shadows of the post to win for the 36-year-old.

Moreira’s double means the gap is back out to seven ahead of Wednesday night’s International Jockeys’ Championship, where the pair will be expected to put in a strong showing for Hong Kong.

O’Sullivan’s Duke delivers again

Paul O’Sullivan was full of praise for bloodstock agent Paul Chow Poung-hwa after Duke Wai saluted again in the Class Three Peninsula Golden Jubilee Challenge Cup (1,000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The New Zealand import improved his record to three wins from seven starts, including back-to-back successes up the Sha Tin straight.

“Paul Chow bought him at the sales for a client and he said with maturity he would get better and he’s quite right,” O’Sullivan said.

Karis Teetan on Duke Wai.

“He’s a local agent here and I would get five or six winners out of him every year, he doesn’t pay a lot of money for them but he’s a good judge of a horse.”

After settling near the back of the field – albeit in a far better position than when he missed the start by three lengths last time out – Karis Teetan worked Duke Wai through traffic to win comfortably from John Moore first-starter Stronger.

“He’s making good strides and he’s relatively lightly raced,” O’Sullivan said. “He’s in the hands of the handicapper.

“We will have a look at the programme, but while he’s winning down the straight we may as well keep doing it, but I think there will come a time that they will just go too fast for him over 1,000m and he could end up a 1,400m, 1,600m horse. Time will tell.”

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