Brown partnered with Shocking to win the 2009 Melbourne Cup at Flemington but has not been aboard Shocking since, with Michael Rodd having ridden the stayer throughout 2010.
It was a season of mixed results for Shocking during last year’s spring carnival.
The champion was able to record a win in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and run second to Zipping in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2004m).
These were the highlights, however, Shocking going on to finishing fourth in the Caulfield Cup, sixth in the Mackinnon Stakes and then a disappointing 18th when beaten by 19 ½ lengths by Americain in the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
Rodd, a prominent Melbourne-based jockey, no longer rides for Shocking’s owner Laurence Eales.
After having won a barrier trial at Rosehill with smart young filly and 2011 Golden Slipper Stakes hopeful Satin Shoes earlier in the week, Brown was faced with a tough decision whether to ride Shocking in the CF Orr or Satin Shoes when she resumes at Randwick on the same day.
With Hugh Bowman now booked for the ride on Flying Spur filly Satin Shoes in the $100,000 Listed Widden Stakes (1100m), Brown is free to reacquaint himself with the horse that gave him first and to date only Melbourne Cup victory.
Prior to his 2009 Melbourne Cup success, Brown also rode Shocking when finishing second in the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) and the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) that season.
The $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington’ Super Saturday of Racing on March 12 has been set as the main autumn goal for Shocking.
Following the CF Orr Saturday week and on way to the Australian Cup, Shocking is likely to run second-up in the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 26.
Currently leading online bookmaker Luxbet has Shocking installed at around $7 in the 2011 Australian Cup future odds.
Defending champion Zipping and Shocking’s stablemate Whobegotyou are the other early favourites to win the Australian Cup.
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Photo courtesy (c) Taron Clarke Photography