By Brad Gray
Blake Shinn knows a thing or two about Breeders’ Plate winners so it’s worth paying attention when he says he is confident he is on the right horse to win it again this year.
Shinn has won the last two editions of the $150,000 Listed two-year-old feature with Khan and subsequent Golden Slipper winner Capitalist while he also tasted success in 2009 with Run For Wilson and 2008 with champion juvenile Sebring.
Shinn will pair with Bondi, trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, on Saturday after a professional showing saw the Snitzel colt score impressively in his Canterbury trial.
“He is a quality colt. I won have this race four times, the Breeders Plate, and I think this horse has got the makings of a very good two-year-old. He has got the ability to win,” Shinn said matter-of-factly.
“Bondi was terrific in his trial and he worked great on Tuesday. He is strong, he is precocious and I think he is very classy. I like the feel I get from him. He is well bred too.”
Of the 12 trials at Canterbury, $400,000 purchase Bondi was the third quickest heat behind only Brad Widdup’s filly Witherspoon and Godolphin’s colt Hiemel, who will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy.
“Hiemel was my best of the colts that day and he did it in nice style,” McEvoy said, “He has reportedly come on well from the trial and looks to be a good chance.”
“He showed nice gate speed and travelled well. There was good speed in front of him and he rounded them up turning for home so he seemed to have a nice way about him. Hopefully he can show the same mannerisms on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, McEvoy will partner with Galina in the Gimcrack Stakes, a half-sister to Group One-winning sprinter Russian Revolution.
“Galina got back a little in her trial, travelled well and she dashed well to run second. She showed nice race sense. I rode her (Tuesday) morning and she is in good order.”
Shinn’s ride in the Gimcrack will also be for the Snowden camp with Pierro filly Impetuoso finding the line to run second in her qualifying trial.
“She trialled well and although she didn’t have much tactical speed, if she can find herself in a better spot come Saturday then she did in her trials, she has got good ability and will be running on late,” Shinn said.
Shinn has a strong book at Royal Randwick, including the favourite in the $1,000,000 TAB Epsom Handicap, Happy Clapper, but the star hoop gave a push for unheralded filly One More Honey in the $500,000 Group One Flight Stakes (1600m).
“She is going to relish the mile and she has been ticking over nicely. She didn’t have much luck last start (in the Tea Rose) and I’m excited to be riding her. She is going to run a fantastic race,” Shinn said.
“Alizee is in great form but she is unknown at the mile whereas I’m certain that my filly will run strongly over the trip and I wouldn’t be surprised if she turned the tables given her last run.”
— Australian Turf Club (@atc_races) September 18, 2017