Hong Kong


Shinn hopes to charm Happy Valley

Blake Shinn hopes the timing is right with Charming Steed when the Caspar Fownes-trainee lines up in tonight’s Class 4 Green Island Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley.

“He’s done everything right in all three runs. He’s knocking door for a win, so let’s hope he can get it on Wednesday night,” Shinn said.

Shinn partners Charming Steed at Happy Valley tonight, picture HKJC

Twice runner-up from three runs in Hong Kong, Charming Steed has adapted to life in the Far East swiftly and Shinn gets the leg-up on the Charm Spirit gelding for the second time this evening. The pair step away from gate five together.

“He was beaten by a horse who had an advantage in that class of race, but I thought my horse ran really well. He’s got tactical speed, he puts himself in a good position and he quickened up … He got held up a touch around the bend but it wouldn’t have changed the result — we might have finished a length closer, but he gets another really good opportunity to win,” Shinn explained.

The four-year-old Hong Kong International Sale graduate clocked 1m 26.5s (33.1, 27.8, 25.6) in a recent hit-out on the dirt at Sha Tin.

“It looks like a winnable race. I think the horse with the right run will win the race and I think my horse should present well to put himself in the right position,” the Melbourne Cup-winning rider said.

Hindered by a number of suspensions of late, Shinn is eager to return to the fray tonight with seven rides including Solar Wai Wai, Hall Of Champ and Loving A Boom.

“It’s been a bit of a frustrating time with myself riding and getting suspended, but I have had to use the time wisely and get myself prepared to come back bigger and better.

“I feel in a great spot mentally and physically, especially with some big rides coming up. I can’t wait to get back in the saddle,” Shinn said.

Shinn is gearing up to partner Sky Field in Sunday’s G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), Russian Emperor in the G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) and Fantastic Treasure in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) — the opening leg of the three-race age-restricted Four-Year-Old Classic Series.

“We have Sky Field — he’s going great. Fantastic Treasure is heading to the Classic Mile, and Russian Emperor — so there’s plenty of ammunition there and plenty to keep me enthusiastic about coming back,” Shinn said.

Tonight’s nine-race fixture at Happy Valley starts at 6.45pm with the Class 5 Po Toi Handicap (1800m).