By Brad Gray At Canterbury Park
There is a real sense of timing about five-year-old mare English as she makes the ascent towards the TAB Everest on Saturday.
Blake Shinn has partnered the Tabcorp representative in nine of her nineteen outings including her second in the Golden Slipper to stablemate Vancouver, both of her TJ Smith placings behind Chautauqua and her second Challenge Stakes win, so there are few better to be in a position to gauge how well she is going.
“I’ve had a lot to do with her and I think she is going great. That last run gave me a lot of confidence. A lot of confidence. Her sprint there was as good as she has sprinted for me in any of her races,” said Shinn, referencing her Premiere Stakes second.
“I wouldn’t swap my horse for anything. She has had the right preparation, is proven and is going as good as she can so I’m pretty happy.”
English possesses a devastating turn of foot and when Shinn sits down to map out tactics for her, he’ll have that at the forefront of his mind.
“She is a not a tricky horse but she has a 250m sprint so it’s about trying to work out a plan to use that to our best advantage to beat horses like Chautauqua, Redzel and Deploy,” he said.
“She has proven that she’s got one of the best sprints in Australia. It’s going to be a great race.”
With Shinn in the saddle, English completed her main piece of work ahead of Saturday at Canterbury on Monday morning, working over 1200m, under the watchful eyes of co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
“She felt great. She has continued to thrive in her preparation leading into Saturday’s race and I think she is absolutely at her peak. She feels 110% and I was very happy with her work,” Shinn reported.
“I said to Gai, I feel even in her appearance and mannerisms, she is getting better each run and her work indicated that this morning.”
Shinn, who was a champion for The Everest during his stint riding in the US for master trainer Wesley Ward, basing himself at Arlington Park in Chicago, is “buzzing” with the TAB Everest only days away.
“It’s got worldwide coverage so it’s great to have a ride and on one of the leading chances in the race. This week is going to be a great build up and I can’t wait for Saturday to come. Peter V’landys and all involved have done an outstanding job pulling it all together,” Shinn said.
“There’s no butterflies yet but definitely a bit of adrenaline.”
English's main gallop at Canterbury on Monday morning
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) October 8, 2017