Two rides, two wins: Blake Shinn hit the ground running on Chipping Norton Stakes Day.
Blake Shinn has made a clean sweep of the first two races at Randwick on Chipping Norton Stakes day, one of them aboard a Sydney Cup prospect.
Shinn hit the ground running, timing his finishing burst perfectly aboard country gelding Haames to narrowly win the TAB Highway race.
He then survived a protest from Kerrin McEvoy aboard third placegetter Looks Like Elvis to claim the Australian Fire Hose Handicap (2000m) on Goathland.
It was Goathland’s first run since spring when he was competitive in stakes company and trainer Kim Waugh confirmed he would be aimed towards the better staying races over the autumn, including the Group One Sydney Cup.
“He’ll run in those good races,” Waugh said on Saturday.
Waugh, who began her career working with harness horses, said she enjoyed the challenge of setting a stayer for a distance race first-up, a skill learned with the standardbreds.
“I feel like I’m back at the trots again,” she said.
“They’d never start over 1200. They’d be always a mile and 2000 and 2400 so it’s enjoyable. It’s different.
“Blake rides him so well. He’s got the best hands and that’s why we fight to make him ride them.”
Shinn got everything out of Goathland ($12) in a driving finish to stave off Desert Path ($12) by a head with Looks Like Elvis ($3.50 fav) another half-head away.
He was also at his brilliant best aboard Haames ($5.50), settling the Wauchope galloper towards the rear and getting him into clear running in the straight.
Haames’ victory gave trainer Colt Prosser his first win in a TAB Highway race and the young horseman was thrilled to do it on the same afternoon Winx was in action.
“You couldn’t read about winning a race on a day like today with the great mare about to go around later on,” Prosser said.
“It’s a huge thrill.”
Prosser, who has more than 20 horses in work, said he would have loved to stay to watch Winx chase 31 wins in succession but work commitments meant he had to start the drive back to Wauchope.
“I’ve got to go home; Armidale Cup day tomorrow so I’ll be on the highway,” he said.