Blake Shinn has arrived late to capture the 2018 Nathan Berry Medal in a thrilling finish to the contest on Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick.
Shinn burst onto the scene by winning the Schweppes Sydney Cup aboard crowd favourite Who Shot Thebarman ($18) to reach six points before his second on Prompt Response ($12) in the Coolmore Legacy Stakes put him on eight points.
Pre-post favourite Kerrin McEvoy led most of the way and also finished on eight points, but on a countback Shinn was awarded the Nathan Berry Medal.
In the event of a tie, the winner is he/she who has ridden the most winners during The Championships. Shinn finished with two winners and a second to McEvoy's five placings.
Shinn's other winner was on Day 1 of The Championships when the popular Happy Clapper raced away with the $3m The Star Doncaster Mile.
McEvoy led the Medal race having earlier today partnered Fiesta ($6.50) in the 360 DMG Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) where he had to be content with finishing second to Michael Walker aboard the flying grey Pure Elation ($4 favourite).
The hoop again picked up a minor prize when third on I Am Excited ($5) behind Catchy (Joao Moreira, $9) and Corey Brown (Showtime, $14).
The Nathan Berry Medal is awarded to the most successful jockey over the 12 races of The Championships and pays tribute to the former top jockey who passed away in early April 2014.
The Nathan Berry Medal is unique as it features his initials ‘NJB’ in the same font Nathan carried on his racing jodhpurs, and is adorned by a light blue & dark blue ribbon – mirroring the colours he carried on Unencumbered.
2018 NATHAN BERRY MEDAL (final tally) 8* – Blake SHINN, Kerrin McEVOY 6 – Hugh BOWMAN, Tye ANGLAND 5 – Mark ZAHRA 4 – Damian LANE, Michael WALKER, Joao MOREIRA 3 – Ben LOOKER, Glyn SCHOFIELD, Jason COLLETT, Andrew ADKINS, Michael DEE *won on count back