Matthew Poon ready for Hong Kong

Apprentice Matthew Poon will have nine rides at his first Hong Kong meeting as he embarks on the next stage of his career.

Poon has been learning his trade with Richard Jolly in Adelaide and was last season's champion apprentice in the South Australian capital.

He received the call-up last month to return home and rides at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The 23-year-old joined the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Apprentice Jockeys' School as a 17-year-old and has spent the past 18 months in Australia.

"When I was young, I lived near the Jockey Club's riding centre at Beas River," Poon told reporters at a reception on Tuesday when he was joined by Jolly and his new master, expat Australian David Hall.

"I got a chance when I was a teenager to go and spend some time with the horses at Beas River and that made me interested in these animals.

"When I finished school, I applied for the Apprentice Jockeys' School and was lucky enough to be accepted."

Those who make the grade at the school as potential apprentice jockeys must undertake an overseas placement to get to the level required to compete in Hong Kong.

"He started with me in June 2015 and he rode in about 20 trials and a fair few jump-outs before he was ready to race-ride, which came in October that year," Jolly said.

"His first ride was at a country track and his first ride was a winner. In fact his first provincial ride was a winner, his first city ride was a winner, so all of a sudden we get to this point and he's ridden 117 winners in a very short space of time."

Hall said the grounding Poon received in Adelaide would be invaluable.

"Obviously, I'm looking forward to seeing Matthew ride," Hall said. "I've watched a lot of his riding in South Australia and it's amazing how the racing world turns, because Richard was an apprentice jockey who rode for me when I trained in Adelaide.
 

SYDNEY, March 22 AAP