By Mark Brassel
Despite being edged out in The Star Doncaster Mile aboard Happy Clapper, jockey Blake Shinn has scooted to a two-point lead in the 2017 Nathan Berry Medal.
Shinn struck first blow in the Medal when $41 shot Free Standing caused an upset in the Newhaven Park Country Championships Final.
The rider then finished runner-up on English in the Darley TJ Smith Stakes and on Happy Clapper in The Star Doncaster Mile.
Left: Blake Shinn - is leading the charge in the 2017 Nathan Berry Medal
Chasing Shinn is Zac Purton who finished second on Summer Passage in the Inglis Sires’ before kicking home It’s Somewhat in the Doncaster Mile.
Three riders are sharing third place in the Medal: Damian Lane, sentimental favourite Tommy Berry and winner of the 2015 and 2016 Medals, Hugh Bowman. Each jockey is on three points.
Further back are Jason Collett and Robert Thompson on two points, with a point each to Luke Nolen, Tim Clark, Corey Brown, Christian Reith and Joao Moriera.
The point score is determined on a 3-2-1 basis across the 10 Group races as well as the Finals of the Country and Provincial Championships, with the winner announced at the completion of Day 2 of The Championships next Saturday (8 April).
The Nathan Berry Medal is unique as it features his initials ‘NJB’ on the medal in the same font Nathan sported on his racing jodhpurs and is adorned by a dark & light blue ribbon – the colours he carried on Unencumbered.
2017 NATHAN BERRY MEDAL 7 – Blake SHINN 5 – Zac PURTON 3 – Damian Lane, Hugh BOWMAN, Tommy BERRY 2 – Jason COLLETT, Robert THOMPSON 1 – Luke NOLEN, Tim CLARK, Corey BROWN, Christian REITH, Joao MOREIRA
Check out the scoreboard at – 2017 Nathan Berry Medal