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Shinn the perfect match for Golden Mile in the Epsom

James Cummings likes to match riders to his horses and had a plethora of jockeys to choose from when he decided to run Golden Mile in Saturday’s Epsom Handicap.

He kept coming back to premier Melbourne jockey Blake Shinn.

Godolphin’s Golden Mile gets the better of Elliptical in last year’s Caulfield Guineas.

Godolphin’s Golden Mile gets the better of Elliptical in last year’s Caulfield Guineas.Credit: Getty

“He rides for us a lot down in Melbourne, and the more we look at Golden Mile the more he suited him in the Epsom,” Cummings said.

“It is the one day of the spring where you have the pick of the Sydney and Melbourne rooms because of the AFL grand final and there were a number of names thrown up.

“Blake is the only jockey to ever win the Sydney and Melbourne premiership, and he knows the Randwick mile as good as anyone. But more importantly, he is riding in great form.

“He is going to have to be at his best from gate 21, but he is on a horse that is in great form that continues to improve.”

‘He is a good miler, and we will need a little luck for the gate.’

Blake Shinn on his Epsom runner Golden Mile

When Shinn returned from Hong Kong last year, he decided to be closer to family in Melbourne. It has proven a smart move. He won the premiership and has returned to the top echelon of jockeys in Australia.

“I had 10 good years in Sydney and I could have gone back there, but I just want to be near my family after being in Hong Kong,” Shinn said.

“I was just thinking get back and ride winners in Melbourne and as the season went on it was obvious I had the chance to win the premiership, so we had a real crack at the end and got there.”

The Melbourne success again showed that Shinn could comfortably sit in any jockey’s room in the world.

But riders also need to get the right opportunities and that’s what Shinn sees in Golden Mile, as he looks for a third Epsom victory, after his Theo Marks Stakes win last time out.

Leading Sydney jockey Blake Shinn.

Leading Sydney jockey Blake Shinn.Credit: Getty

“He beat me in the Caulfield Guineas [when I was on Elliptical] last year and has always been a good horse,” Shinn said. “To see him win last time showed he is back in that type of form and he looks a real good ride with the right weight, but the wrong barrier.

“He is a good miler, and we will need a little luck for the gate.”


Shinn has a strong book of rides, including Cafe Millenium in the Dulcify Stakes, but he will be cheering for Ho Ho Khan in the Metropolitan as his niece Tahlia Hope takes the ride.

“It’s great to be back in Sydney and I want to be coming up here more often when the right chances are there,” Shinn said. “It’s good to be there to support Tahlia and give her some pointers about riding at Randwick.

“It is one of the things I have loved about being back in Melbourne being around my family.

“She has a good connection with Ho Ho Khan, who is a tough old stayer from Hong Kong and he can run a good race.”

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