Let’s start with a quiz question. Outside Hong Kong’s top three jockeys – Zac Purton, Joao Moreira and Karis Teetan – which rider has the best strike-rate when it comes to finishing in the first three?

Take a bow all those who answered Blake Shinn. The top Australian has been placed in 29 per cent of his rides this season and that is some achievement given only Ruan Maia has been involved in fewer races than Shinn among the current top 14 riders in the jockeys’ championship.

Vincent Ho Chak-yiu, Alexis Badel, Matthew Poon Ming-fai, Matthew Chadwick, Derek Leung Ka-chun and Antoine Hamelin have all had at least 100 more rides than Shinn, who sits just three winners behind last term’s total of 24 but prefers to focus on himself rather than comparisons with other jockeys.

“I’m not aware of where I’m sitting in relation to other jockeys but I do keep tabs on my stats and try to analyse where I can improve on my rides,” Shinn said.

“I really just focus on the things I can control, which is the stuff behind the scenes. It’s such a competitive place in terms of the riding ranks, there’s a great depth of riders and it’s hard to break in with the trainers and earn respect from them.

“Trainers and owners have established relationships over many years with jockeys prior to me coming to Hong Kong and I’ve always understood that it takes time to get the doors to open.

“It doesn’t just happen overnight, it’s slowly happening for me but with respect to the other jockeys I can understand why it hasn’t happened sooner.”

Shinn arrived in the city less than three years ago and this season has broken through at Group One level in Hong Kong with victories on Sky Field in the Hong Kong Sprint and Russian Emperor in the Gold Cup.

Reunited this week with Douglas Whyte’s star, Shinn is looking forward to a rematch with Golden Sixty in the Group Two Chairman’s Trophy next Sunday.

“He trialled up nicely and Douglas has prepared him in a similar pattern to the Gold Cup,” Shinn said.

“He trialled him before the Gold Cup but this trial was run differently to that one. In the Gold Cup trial they went fast early and slowed up late, while this one they went slow early and then sprinted and the depth of the trial was stronger. He’s ticking over nicely and he’s ready to go.”

While Shinn has yet another big-race assignment on the agenda, he’ll be hoping to follow up a midweek win at Happy Valley aboard Triple Triple with another at Sha Tin on Sunday and it’s fair to say all of Shinn’s five rides on the card have some chance of saluting.

‘If I’m ever going to beat him, it’ll be this weekend’: Shinn takes aim at Sixty

“I could make a case for them all without being bullish about any one in particular,” Shinn said.

“Barrier one is a significant barrier for Birdsville over 1,200m [in the Class Four Lei Muk Shue Handicap] and myself and David Hayes both think he can improve for that draw,” Shinn said.

“Sixth Generation [in the Class Four Shek Wai Kok Handicap] is a horse who has probably been looking for this 1,400m and has been hitting the line nicely over shorter, while Perfect Maryknoll [in the Class Four Shek Yam Handicap] is up to 2,000m for the first time and is running well.”

Shinn trialled Go Go Sixteen over 1,200m on dirt at Sha Tin last week and gives him a chance in the Class Five Tai Wo Hau Handicap (1,600m).

“He trialled up all right the other day and I think he’s got talent,” Shinn said. “You only have to look at him. He was rated 46 and beaten three and a quarter lengths, 45 and beaten two and three-quarter lengths and 43 and beaten one and a half. If he runs up to that and gets a bit of luck he could go well.”