Former Kilmore jockey Blake Shinn won his third group one in Hong Kong this season when he partnered the Douglas Whyte-trained Russian Emperor to victory in the HK$12million Standard Chartered Champions and Chartered Cup, over 2400 metre, at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The win aboard Russian Emperor, who is out of the champion Australian mare Atlantic Jewel, for the in-form, was his third win on the card.
“The big races in Hong Kong are so prestigious and well recognised around the world, so to be competing is one thing; to be winning them is another,” Shinn said.
“We’re on the world stage and to win such a prestigious race, I feel like I’m on top of the world right now.”
The group one race was Shinn’s 36th victory for the season.
Due to strict COVID restrictions in Hong Kong, the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey has decided to return to Australia at the conclusion of the season.
On his return in July, Shinn, 34, will probably settle in Melbourne for the Spring Carnival then return to back to Sydney.
“I have not seen my parents for years and they live in Victoria so I feel I should go back there and spend some time with them,” Shinn said.
The Scobie Breasley Medalist cited the difficulties and mental stress of living under the strict COVID conditions imposed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club as his reason for leaving Hong Kong.
Osborne’s three victories
Kyneton trainer George Osborne enjoyed a few good days last week.
Last Monday on the synthetic at Sportsbet-Ballarat, Osborne saddled up $3.50 favourite Hallowed Ground and Kerioth, $11, respectively for nice wins.
The former, a three-year-old gelded son of Hallowed Crown and Ocean Tempest, was an all-the-way winner of the Whitford Liquid Waste Maiden Plate over 1200 metres.
Hallowed Ground is raced by Osborne along with a number of stalwart stable clients.
The gelding had two minor placings prior to Monday’s win, which was his fifth start.
Osborne’s second leg winner, Kerioth, a four-year-old Zebedee gelding, was also an all-the-way winner of the Sportsbet Bet With Mates BM58 Handicap over 1200 metres.
Ridden by apprentice Sheridan Clarke, the gelding defeated Ziavera, $3.40, by three and three quarters, with Ronay a further two lengths away third.
“A credit to Sheridan, who I’ve never used before, because when we can get him forward he is very, very good but it doesn’t happen all the time,” Osborne said.
“But today she drove him out and once he gets to the lead, he is a different horse. His best form is very fresh, so I don’t know what we’ll do now – probably back off again.
“He handles all going and he obviously handles synthetic now, which I wasn’t sure of.”
Kerioth was a $26,000 purchase at the 2019 Magic Million Adelaide yearling sale for himself and stable clients headed by Alex Babauskis.
The gelding has now won three races from his 12 starts earning $51,025 in prizemoney.
Kerioth made news at his second race start when he ‘bolted in’ in a maiden at Avoca by six lengths in March last year only to see the race abandoned as it was run over 1200 metres instead of the advertised distance of 1100 metres. Some early punters got paid out before the mistake was noticed. Racing Victoria paid out the winning fee to Kerioth’s owners.
Osborne continued his good winning run at Geelong on Friday when he saddled-up Kyteler, $3.70, for a comfortable win.
The Shamus Award gelding took out the Jedi Building Group 3YO Maiden Plate over 1700 metres.
Giving the in-form John Allen the first leg of a riding treble, the gelding defeated the $2.50 favourite Trinity Beach by two lengths with Botched third.
Allen and Osborne agreed pre-race to take the gelding to the lead, which it did as soon as the barrier rose.
“I have an opinion of this horse but he’s such a big baby, he’s like a big baby giraffe at the moment and as he gets older and wiser he’ll get over plenty of ground and he’ll do well,” Osborne said.
Osborne said he would keep the gelding going and look at one of the 2000-metre Mahogany Series.
Kilmore Racing Club will host its final turf meeting for season 2021-22 at bet365 Park Kilmore on Thursday.
For a la carte dining bookings in Trackside Bistro or in the alfresco area, ring the club on 5783 0777.
Admission is free for the meeting. For further enquiries ring 5783 0700.