Blake Shinn added some sparkle to Wednesday night’s all-dirt meeting at Sha Tin with an impressive treble that included victory in the Class One Fo Tan Handicap (1,650m) aboard Will Power.
Shinn’s biggest Hong Kong day came when he landed a quartet of winners at the third meeting of the 2021-22 season but he had otherwise dealt in singles this term before producing his second-biggest haul in the jurisdiction at the midweek meeting.
“In this place, you’re only as good as the cattle you get on and in the last few weeks I’ve had some nice opportunities,” Shinn said. “The horses have just stepped up and things have gone my way.
“The trainers are starting to recognise and the support from David Hayes has been instrumental. Through his support, other trainers are cottoning on and it’s like a snowball effect. Hopefully it keeps rolling on.”
Shinn kicked his night off on the perfect note with victory aboard Will Power in the second event, taking the Douglas Whyte-trained six-year-old to the back from the outside alley in the seven-horse field before popping off the rail turning for home and proving far too strong.
“He was first-up at the distance and he is a backmarker. We had to ride a kind race on him to get the trip. Look, it worked out well. They went quick enough,” said Shinn, who saluted aboard Carroll Street for Whyte on Monday and snared his first Group One win in Hong Kong with Sky Field earlier this month.
“The horse had come on from his last run and was presented beautifully tonight by Douglas. He’s arguably the best dirt horse in Hong Kong and it was great to get the win on him tonight. He’s a class horse and it’s just great to get the ride on him.”
Will Power defeated the Tony Cruz-trained Californiadeepshot by a length and a half, with John Size’s Red Desert back in third, and after his seventh win in 18 starts, the son of Power will find himself on a rating around 110.
“It was either run him in [Saturday’s Group Three] Bauhinia Sprint [Trophy, 1,000m], which I don’t think would have been his best chance, or step him up to 1,650m and ride him quietly, which is what happened tonight,” Whyte said.
“I think I made the right decision but I said this on Monday [about Carroll Street] – the horse was vulnerable but it was the ride, the ride won the race.
“Blake is riding with absolute confidence and it’s just beautiful to watch and he’s making the difference at the moment. He never went around a horse, maybe one horse, he hugged the rails and let them all go crazy.”
Shinn went on to complete his treble with victories aboard the Size-trained Amazing Teens and Benno Yung Tin-pang’s All Joyful, with the latter’s success completing a double for the unassuming Yung after he also collected the fourth event with 1,413-pound beast Run Des Run.
Whyte went on to nab a double of his own after Harry Bentley piloted Turin Redstar to victory in the Class Three Sha Tin Hoi Handicap (1,650m), a victory that completed a running double for British jockey Bentley after he had earlier saluted with Everyone’s Victory for championship-leading trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen.
Size capped the night with a double of his own, Elon winning for the second time in three races in the finale.