Blake Shinn will jet into Hong Kong to partner Russian Emperor and Sky Field in their respective Group Two contests at Sha Tin next month.

Shinn won last year’s Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m) aboard Sky Field as well as snaring the Group One Hong Kong Gold Cup (2,000m) and Group One Champions & Chater Cup (2,400m) with Russian Emperor while based in the city.

He reunites with Sky Field for the Group Two Jockey Club Sprint (1,200m) and Russian Emperor for the Group Two Jockey Club Cup (2,000m) on November 20.

“I’m really excited to be riding Russian Emperor and Sky Field again,” said Shinn, who returned to Australia at the end of last season after struggling with months of suffocating Covid-19 restrictions.

“I’m really looking forward to the day, and then I’ll be back on international day. Hopefully I can pick up a few more rides as well.”

Russian Emperor finished 12th first-up in the Group Two Sha Tin Trophy (1,600m) under Lyle Hewitson, four and a half lengths off winner California Spangle at a distance well short of his best.

“Blake knows the horse well and the horse has pulled up from that race in good order,” trainer Douglas Whyte said, adding that he expects Shinn to also be in the saddle at the Longines Hong Kong International Races on December 11. “He’s been offered the ride in both and it’ll be good to have him back.”

Sky Field has already had three runs this season as he plots a course towards his Hong Kong Sprint defence.

The six-year-old was a fast-finishing third behind Wellington under Keith Yeung Ming-lun a week ago and trainer Caspar Fownes hopes Shinn can be the final piece of the puzzle for his star speedster.

“Blake gets on very well with him and we’re happy to have him back for his next two races. I’m looking forward to it,” Fownes said.

“His last run was huge, Keith gave him a lovely ride and the horse has pulled up really well. He goes to China for a couple of weeks and then back here. I think he’s going to be spot on for December.”

Shinn has settled back into Australia beautifully since leaving Hong Kong, riding a string of Group winners, and he partners $23 chance Vow And Declare in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.

He won’t be the only Australian jockey launching a hit-and-run mission on Sha Tin on November 20, with David Hayes confirming he has booked the white-hot James McDonald to ride Super Wealthy in the Jockey Club Sprint.

McDonald, who had four winners at the Victoria Derby meeting at Flemington on Saturday, will also partner reigning Group One QE II Cup (2,000m) victor Romantic Warrior should Karis Teetan not overcome his thyroid issue in time.

Ferraris Smiling again

After copping a HK$7,500 fine for weighing in heavy at Sha Tin on Wednesday night, Luke Ferraris was smiling again at Happy Valley on Sunday afternoon.

In booting the Jimmy Ting Koon-ho-trained Smiling Time to victory in the Class Four Kwangtung Handicap Cup (1,800m), Ferraris shook off a nagging run of outs dating back to October 5 and landed his seventh winner of the season to remain firmly entrenched in the top half of the jockeys’ premiership.

Ferraris produced the sort of ride that should give him plenty of confidence, snagging Smiling Time back out of the gates from barrier 11 and quickly taking up a position on the fence at the rear of the field.

Luke Ferraris punches out Smiling Time (inside).

Ferraris gradually made ground up the inside and had plenty of room upon straightening to slice through the field and hang on to beat Bright Kid by a short head.

“That was plan A, from draw 11 trying to go forward and get a position, we would have been three-deep, so I just had to snag him out of the gates and try to pinch a few spots and luckily, he did,” Ferraris said.

“He found himself in a rather nice position, all things considered, and he got a lovely track into the race and when I pushed the button there was a response.”

South African import Smiling Time broke his Hong Kong maiden at start 20, saluting for the first time since his victory at Kenilworth in January 2020.

A start before that win, Smiling Time finished second in the Group One Cape Guineas (1,600m), sandwiched between fellow Hong Kong imports Kilindini and Ms Ally.

Smiling Time is the first of that trio to salute in Hong Kong, with Ms Ally retired after two starts and Kilindini yet to deliver in 10 outings.

Plucky Panthalassa

The Yoshito Yahagi-trained Panthalassa produced one of the more eye-catching seconds you’ll see in Sunday’s Group One Tenno Sho Autumn (2,000m) at Tokyo, putting a massive margin on the field under Yutaka Yoshida before being gunned down in the final strides by Equinox and Christophe Lemaire.

It has been reported in Japan that Panthalassa and fourth placegetter Jack d’Or have accepted invitations to run in December’s Group One Hong Kong Cup (2,000m) at Sha Tin.

Tenno Sho third placegetter Danon Beluga also holds a Longines Hong Kong International Races nomination.