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Divine intervention puts Poon Train’s derailed season back on track with treble




There are many ways to bring a losing streak to an end, but Matthew Poon Ming-fai chose divine intervention before riding a magnificent treble at Sha Tin on Sunday.


Poon headed into the meeting on a run of 38 consecutive losses and a seemingly forlorn hope of matching last season’s total of 34 wins, but a trip to the temple on Saturday after receiving advice from trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing reversed his fortunes.


“Maybe that’s why I got lucky,” Poon said. “I need to thank Danny. I always go twice a year – at the beginning of the season and the end – but Danny recommended I go. He’s been a good supporter of mine.”


Poon completed his treble aboard Shum’s Ka Ying Spirit in the same style as his earlier two victories by making all the running in the Class Three Tenpin Bowling Handicap (1,000m).


“A few of my rides were late pickups, but I feel lucky I can get on those chances,” Poon said.

“All of my horses led all the way and had light weights.”


Ka Ying Spirit was returning to the track after a couple of months off recovering from an injury, with Shum keen to highlight the good work done by his stable staff.


“He had a fracture in his left fore, and I had to give him a break,” Shum said of Ka Ying Spirit.

“I really appreciate the work of the vets and my stable team, especially those people based at Conghua, because they looked after him very well.


“He’s so much better off a break. He bled when he was with David Hayes, so he can’t run too soon. I intend to run him again on July 1 in a Class Three over 1,000m. Six weeks between runs should be OK.”


Poon struck first on a rare ride for trainer John Size, who had used him only six times this term before booking him for Speedy Fortune in the Class Four Wheelchair Fencing Handicap (1,200m).


The three-year-old galloper was found to have an irregular heart rhythm after finishing last on his previous start and spent three weeks in Conghua, which included a compulsory barrier trial, in advance of Sunday’s assignment.


Taking advantage of a decent draw in gate four, the son of Pariah showed no signs of any health issue as Poon took control of the race early and sprinted clear in the home straight to win by three lengths from Dream Pursuer, who came from a long way off the pace to finish second.


Poon again got the fractions right aboard Pakistan Friend, who made it back-to-back victories with his success in the Class Four Lawn Bowls Handicap (1,800m).


After winning in the basement grade last time, the eight-year-old veteran found the rise in

grade well within his compass thanks to an astute ride by Poon, who managed to get to the front from a difficult draw in barrier 11 before repelling all challengers.


The victory was Pakistan Friend’s first Class Four triumph since February 2021 and the 30th win of the campaign for handler Chris So Wai-yin, who has already surpassed last season’s tally of 28.


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