Blake Shinn returns to Australia

Image: Bruno Cannatelli

Melbourne Cup winning jockey Blake Shinn’s return to Australia is fast approaching.

Shinn has spent the last three years in Hong Kong, a racing circuit where he has always wished for a longer stay, and has never disappointed on the racing side of things.

“I love the racing side of Hong Kong. The competition is great. It’s very competitive and it’s great riding against the best in the world and testing yourself,” Shinn told racing.com.

However, as time went on, the continued very strict Covid restrictions that the club imposed on jockeys (which were obviously put in place for good reason) understandably started to wear on it.

“Honestly, that was the main reason I decided to come home to Australia,” Shinn admitted. “With these restrictions, it got to the point where I just had enough. Not that I’m at my breaking point, but I’m thirty-four years old… and we only have one life. It’s not a barrier court and there are plenty of other places where I can ride and enjoy my life.’

So back to Australia that is for Shinn, although he hasn’t completely ruled out a return to Hong Kong at some point in the future if things change there.

But he did not take a direct flight home. Instead, after receiving an offer to ride in the Singapore Derby, he decided to ride there for a month.

“For me, it was a choice to have a nice refresher… ride once a week and enjoy the nice weather,” Shinn explained. “This (Singapore) was a nice place for me to rest, refresh and get back to the spring carnival… and hopefully the winter weather has gone by then.”

Shinn could have another big feature race win before he heads back to Australia as he rides in the Group 1 Lion City Cup in Singapore aboard King Arthur for trainer Donna Logan on Sunday.

“I’m leaving right after Sunday’s races,” Shinn explained. “I’m going to Sydney. I will see my friends there and I will fly to Melbourne next Thursday. I will jump-out at Flemington on Friday and start at The Valley on Saturday (August 20 – McKenzie Stakes day).

“Hopefully the opportunities will come and I can make the most of them.”

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