Sky is the limit as Blake Shinn dreams big after first Hong Kong Group win


Sky Field carried Blake Shinn to his first Hong Kong Group win at Sha Tin on Sunday afternoon and the Australian couldn’t help but wonder just how far up the mountain the flashy four-year-old could take him.

While Shinn’s Classic Mile victory aboard Excellent Proposal in January remains his biggest victory in the jurisdiction, the jockey’s win in the Group Three Premier Cup (1,400m) saw him tick another box as he continues to build into his Hong Kong career.

“It’s just fantastic to win a Group race here in Hong Kong. Doing well in these types of races is where all the riders want to be and it’s where I want to be,” Shinn said after landing his 24th victory of the term, already nine more than his maiden campaign.


“It’s very satisfying. It’s been well documented that it’s been a tough journey for myself in Hong Kong but we’ve remained positive, knuckled down and kept learning and the trainers have been very supportive.”

With stablemate and ownermate Sky Darci commanding prime billing as the $3 favourite, Sky Field went off a $9.40 fourth elect in the final Group contest of the season.

At only his second start over 1,400m and first since October, Sky Field settled beautifully near the rear under Shinn from gate seven before powering down the outside in the straight to defeat Sky Darci by a length and three-quarters.


“It’s electric. He feels like a genuine Group One horse and he’s been placed in the sprint two runs ago at the highest level in Hong Kong and from the first time I got on him, I thought he was a Group One horse,” Shinn said of Sky Field, referencing the galloper’s third behind Wellington in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in April.

“Even though he didn’t win a Group One today, I’m sure next preparation he’s only going to flourish and going to be a really big force in the coming season.

“The race went perfectly to plan, the horse jumped nicely. Caspar just emphasised to switch the horse off and use his best asset, which is his turn of foot. The horse did everything right.


“To win this race here today for Caspar, who’s been a supporter from day one, is very meaningful. It’s Caspar’s day today.”

Jockey Blake Shinn and trainer Caspar Fownes with Sky Field’s connections, the Kwan family.

The victory was one of five on the afternoon for the championship-leading Fownes and he is excited about the options he has with Sky Field and Sky Darci as he casts an eye towards December’s Hong Kong International Races.

“I’ve told you how good [Sky Field] is and it was wonderful to see Blake get the result with him. He settled beautifully for Blake last start and again today over an extra furlong he settled really well,” Fownes said.


“The best is yet to come with him, so it’s wonderful. On that performance you’d say the mile is not a problem so we’ll just see what Golden Sixty is doing, we’ll see what Sky Darci is doing and we’ll try to do the best for the owners because they’ve got a good pair of horses.

“They’re versatile so I can play around with them in the early part of the season and make a decision when we start to get serious ahead of the big races.”



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