Globetrotting hoop Blake Shinn is back in Sydney after a winning double in Singapore last weekend and keen for the pace to be on in the 2015 Winter Stakes at Rosehill Gardens for his mount You’ll Never.
The in-form Chris Waller-trained Commands five-year-old You’ll Never is one of 13 sprinters in the mix for this year’s $100,000 Listed Sydney Markets Limited Winter Stakes (1400m).
He comes off a string of good runs this time in having won back-to-back races over 1350m and 1400m respectively at Rosehill in May before two thirds, also at Rosehill Racecourse, in June.
The most recent of those was on June 27 on a Heavy (8) course with Shinn in the saddle when beaten one and a half lengths by the lightly-weighed Beauty’s Beast in the $85,000 Perfection Fresh Handicap (1500m).
After heading to Singapore and scoring to winners on the card last Sunday, Shinn is now turning his attention to Saturday’s winter feature hoping to get Waller’s nicely drawn galloper first past the post when he jumps on his back for the seventh time.
“I got a lot out of it, riding against world-class jockeys, and it was one of the highlights of my career,” Shinn told Racing and Sports of his time in Singapore.
You’ll Never, who is joined in the Winter Stakes field by stablemates Instrumentalist, Diametric and the rails-drawn Rugged Cross, has barrier two and carries 58kg.
That’s a kilo less than he’s had on his back for his two most recent runs that were hampered by no speed being on according to Shinn.
“He definitely needs the speed and pressure on but in saying that, his last-start run was full of merit in a slowly-run race,” Shinn said.
“I think all his seconds and thirds just come down to his racing style, there’s no other excuses, he just needs pace in a race.
“He’s very consistent. He has drawn well and conditions should suit and I expect him to be hitting the line strongly.”
Waller’s other big hope of scoring the Winter Stakes win on the weekend is Rugged Cross who Brenton Avdulla rides from barrier one on 56kg.
The always honest European import comes off a solid fourth behind the Godolphin-raced Haussmann in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at the same track from July 4 and faces off against his last start conqueror again here.
The John O’Shea-trained Haussmann is widely drawn in the Winter Stakes field out in barrier 11 though and goes up three kilos from his last start weight up to 57kg with James McDonald riding.
Shinn meanwhile has rides in seven of the eight Rosehill races on the Winter Stakes card.
Another galloper he’s especially looking forward to the ride on is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Francesco in Race 2 – the $85,000 Ladbrokes.com.au Handicap (1500m).
A progressive three-year-old Wanted gelding, Francesco comes off a maiden win at his fourth start at Kembla Grange where he easily accounted for his rivals over 1200m with a four and a quarter length win from July 6 with Shinn aboard.
“He’s a horse I’m really excited about,” Shinn said.
“He won so well first-up and he’s trained on very well since and I think he’s got a bright future.”
Get behind Shinn’s mounts in Sydney on Saturday at the right price online now at Ladbrokes, including in the Ladbrokes.com.au Handicap where Ladbrokes.com.au are offering a Bonus Bet for 2nd or 3rd!