Unless your name is Joao Moreira or Zac Purton, it’s pretty rare to head into a weekend with hopes of riding a Group One double but Blake Shinn returns from suspension at Sha Tin on Sunday with huge expectations.

The Australian rider gets the leg up on Russian Emperor in the Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2,000m) and Shinn rates his mount as the biggest danger to superstar Golden Sixty, who is attempting to bounce back to his imperious best after defeat in the Stewards’ Cup last month.

“He has to be the danger,” Shinn said. “He was close to Golden Sixty when third last time and his run two starts back was phenomenal, only getting beaten by two international raiders in the Hong Kong Cup.”

While Golden Sixty will clearly still be difficult to beat, Shinn feels Russian Emperor’s best chance of doing just that is over this 2,000m trip.

“Golden Sixty is stepping out to a distance range where he is probably not quite at his best, although he’s won over it,” Shinn said. “But this is absolutely Russian Emperor’s best distance so if I’m ever going to beat him, it’ll be this weekend.”

Russian Emperor’s trainer Douglas Whyte knows exactly what it takes to win the Gold Cup after riding Indigenous to win the race in 1999 and piloting Ambitious Dragon to success in 2012 and he is also expecting a big run from his five-year-old.

“He’s going well and he’s done everything I’ve asked of him,” Whyte said. “His trial last week was everything I expected and I sat on him on Tuesday for a turf gallop. He’s where I want him at the moment, he’s in good order.

“Golden Sixty is a champion and he’ll bounce back. We’ve got everything to do and he’s already done everything there is. But if there is a chink in his armour my horse will be there to lap it up.”

In the other Group One on the Sha Tin card, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1,400m), Shinn rides top sprinter Sky Field and he is confident that the trip will pose no problem to his mount.

“Given the fact he’s won at 1,400m before, I’m excited to see him at this distance range again,” Shinn said.

“He’s got a great turn of foot, maybe the best in Hong Kong, so we’ll switch him off and get him relaxed. It’s a small field so he shouldn’t be too far back and hopefully he can round them up.”

Blake Shinn shoots for the Sky: he feels like he’s the complete package

Shinn has ridden Sky Field in his last eight starts but still takes something new from every race and he blames himself for the defeat in the Centenary Sprint Cup last time.

“I keep learning on him and I was very critical of my ride last time,” Shinn said. “I feel I exposed him too early and engaged in a battle with Stronger from the top of the straight.

“If I was a little more patient, in my opinion the result would definitely have been different. I’m understanding more all the time what his best assets are and riding to that will help us both. I think now I’ve got a good handle on the horse.”