Shinn puts on Eagle Farm masterclass

4 min read
A treble from Blake Shinn highlighted the opening day of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

The opening day of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival at Eagle Farm featured a riding masterclass from Blake Shinn, who claimed both feature races aboard Gem Song (Your Song) and I Am Excited (Snitzel).

While Gem Song's victory was expected, and he coasted to a 2.25l win in the G3 Fujitsu General Gunsynd Classic, I Am Excited caused an upset edging out champion sprinter Redzel (Snitzel) in a tight finish to the G2 TAB Victory S.

It was down to a perfectly judged ride from Shinn, who is basing himself in Brisbane for the carnival, as he settled I Am Excited well off the furious pace early on.

Jockey Blake Shinn

As Redzel challenged the leaders at the top of the straight, I Am excited was three lengths adrift under riding from Shinn trying to make ground.

It wasn't until the 300m mark that Shinn and the David Pfieffer trained mare appeared as a possible challenger for Redzel who had surged two lengths clear.

Coming through on the inside of the leader, Shinn continued to bridge the gap and picked him up in the final 50m to win by 0.75l.

Pfieffer has never won a Group 1 and is eyeing a shot at the G1 Kingsford Smith S. and the G1 Tatts Tiara with the 4-year-old mare.

"It was a nice win. She's beat a very creditable sprinter. She's run into a few wet tracks in Sydney and it's good to see her perform well up here," he said post race.

"At this stage we are looking at the Kingsford Smith in a few weeks over 1300m. This opens up a few other options. We’ll discuss it with the clients and go from there."

"It's good to see her perform well up here." - Trainer David Pfieffer

It is I Am Excited's fourth stakes success and her second at Group 2 level after her win in the G2 Gilgai S. at Flemington last spring. She is a half sister to a multiple stakes winner in Flippant (Hinchinbrook) and her dam is a half-sister to Regard (Zabeel {NZ}), who produced two Group 1 winning mares in Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock) and Commanding Jewel (Commands).

"She is already a valuable broodmare but that would skyrocket if we can get a Group I with her," Pfieffer said.

Another Gem from Shinn

Earlier Shinn never looked concerned as he piloted Gem Song to an effortless win in the Gunsynd Classic.

The Kris Lees-trained colt boasted a 20-point rating advantage over his rivals under set weight conditions and having travelled comfortably midfield, was produced to the outside and easily accounted for his rivals by 2.25l to add a second stakes success to his win in the G3 Eskimo Prince S. earlier this campaign.

"He's a horse that has proven himself a real carnival horse in Sydney. He's been set for the races up here, and this is a nice starting point for him and he stamped his class today," Shinn said.

Gem Song has never been beyond 1600m in his nine starts career, but Shinn feels now is the time to test him out with a view of heading towards a possible shot at June's G1 Queensland Derby.

"He stamped his class today." - Blake Shinn

"At 2400m, it’s a question mark, but he gives himself every chance. He settles well. I love the way he ran through the line here today," Shinn said when asked about the distance query.

"There is a lead-up into the Derby, that's another run to get through to see if he can go to the Derby, and it’s up to Kris Lees where he wants to go and he's doing everything right."

A Gooree Stud homebred, Gem Song's dam Beautiful Gem (Peintre Celebre {USA}) won up to 1500m at Group 2 level.

Gem Song

Shinn finished the day with a treble having won on Chris Waller's import Le Juge (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) in the Hoppy's Handwash café Open Hcp over 1835m. That 6-year-old looks a likely G2 Brisbane Cup prospect.

The star hoop was also narrowly beaten in the other feature of the day, the Listed Dalrello S., aboard Deep Sea (Deep Field).