After being sidelined for five months recovering from a serious neck injury, Blake Shinn has made a triumphant and emotional return to race riding at Randwick.
Shinn jumped aboard the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained two-year-old debutant Dawn Passage in Saturday’s opening event over 1000m and both horse and rider gave a polished display.
“It’s very special,” Shinn said.
“It’s been a long road back. I’ve done a lot work and I’ve had a lot of support.
“I believe in fate and it was like I had someone riding with me.
“It’s great to be back.”
Dawn Passage ($8.50) came from back in the field to assume control in the straight, with Aussie ($5) 3-1/4 lengths astern.
Bivouac ($14) was another half-neck third while the favourite Espaaniyah ($3.30) weakened after being on the pace to finish eighth.
Shinn said he and Waterhouse had talked tactics before the race and it worked out as planned.
“Gai and I talked about how to ride him,” he said.
“I got on the back of Christian Reith (Bivouac) and my horse was always going well.
“Once he got into the clear I knew I had the horse to finish it off.”
Waterhouse said the colt would head to the $2 million Inglis Millennium in two weeks at Warwick Farm for graduates of the sponsor’s sales.
Dawn Passage cost $150,000 at last year’s Premier sale in Melbourne and Waterhouse extolled the benefits of syndication.
“He is a lovely colt,” Waterhouse said.
“There are a lot of first-time owners in him and they will have a lot of fun.
“This would only happen in Australia. It’s a great country we live in.”
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