Blake Shinn knows the thrill of winning a Melbourne Cup and believes he has a great chance to experience it again.
Shinn rode Viewed to a nail-biting win in the 2008 Cup for the late Bart Cummings.
On Tuesday he will be aboard the Darren Weir-trained Humidor in the $6 million Melbourne Cup at Flemington after they stretched Winx last Saturday week when the champion mare won a record-equalling third Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
It was a performance that has Shinn excited going into Tuesday.
“His Cox Plate run was amazing,” Shinn said.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the horse after riding him and I think we’re a great shot.
“He tested the great mare in the Cox Plate and it proved that he’s one of the best horses in the land.
“So if he can reproduce that tomorrow and run the distance, he should go close.”
This year’s Group One Australian Cup (2000m) and Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) winner at Flemington, Humidor has not won beyond 2000m.
That presents a distance query for the gelding’s first attempt at 3200m but Shinn is optimistic he will cope with the distance.
“I can only take him on face value from what I felt in the Cox Plate and the way he settled and the way he hit the line,” Shinn said.
“It’s 1200 metres further but he gives every indication that he’ll run it out.
“I will ride him to get the distance and I know I’ve got a horse who’s trained by Australia’s leading trainer and he’ll have him hard-fit and ready to go tomorrow.”
Weir won the 2015 Melbourne Cup with $101 chance Prince Of Penzance and saddles up three runners this year.
He said Humidor, Big Duke and Amelie’s Star would all present fit and well for the big race but he had a leaning to Humidor as the leading chance.
Humidor began his career in New Zealand before Weir secured a half-share for stable clients after last year’s spring carnival.
“We were hoping he was the right horse to aim towards the race and we certainly think he is,” Weir said.
“The two miles is the query and he’s got enough weight (56kg). They are two little obstacles but he’s had a great preparation.”