Douglas Whyte paid Blake Shinn the ultimate compliment after the Australian closed a spectacular December with victory aboard Will Power in the Class 1 Fo Tan Handicap (1650m) at Sha Tin’s eight-race all-dirt meeting on Wednesday night (29 December).
Revered as the most successful rider in Hong Kong history with 13 jockeys’ championships and a record 1,813 victories, Whyte said Shinn was “making the difference” in races after the pair successfully combined for the second time this week after Carroll Street’s triumph on Monday (27 December).
Shinn slotted a treble with three contrasting rides, but his display on Will Power in the night’s feature had Whyte singing the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey’s praises.
“He (Shinn) never went around a horse, maybe one horse, he hugged the rails and let them all go crazy. Blake is riding with absolute confidence and it’s just beautiful to watch – he’s making the difference at the moment,” Whyte said.
“It’s a real pity that he can’t ride lighter because if he could, he would have a lot more opportunities.”
Describing Will Power as one of his stable’s “best horses”, Whyte said Shinn’s decision to allow the dirt course specialist to settle a conspicuous – and well out of the battle for the lead – last was decisive.