Blake Shinn has celebrated a personal milestone in the final race at Randwick, notching the 1000th win of his career aboard Arabian Gold in the Adrian Knox Stakes.
The achievement is remarkable given his career was interrupted in 2010 when he was banned for betting on races and spent 12 months on the sidelines.
But the jockey, who won the 2008 Melbourne Cup on Viewed, rebounded from the setback and has been riding in some of the best form of his life.
He said bringing up the milestone at one of Sydney’s biggest race days meant a lot.
“Its pretty special. It’s something that you don’t set out to achieve, but it’s something that I’m pretty proud of,” Shinn said.
“I really think that I’m just starting to develop as a rider and as a person and even though you’re 26, you never stop learning in this game.
“Even though I’ve ridden a thousand winners, I think the best is yet to come. It’s a great day to be able to do it on such a big occasion.”
Arabian Gold was the class runner in Saturday’s field but had raced below par at her past two runs.
Trainer David Vandyke sent her to the barrier trials to rediscover confidence.
The ploy worked, with the filly defying her 59kg topweight to score by 1-1/4 lengths over Missvonn with New Zealander Lady Cumquat another half-length away third.
Vandyke ruled out a start in the Australian Oaks, but revealed he would consider backing the filly up in next week’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“She’s not an Oaks filly. I don’t think she gets the trip,” Vandyke said.
“There’s the Frank Packer Plate in two weeks, Brisbane and, dare I say it, the Queen Elizabeth with 53-1/2 kilos.”