High profile Sydney jockey Blake Shinn and a set of blinkers are two new additions to Humidor as he takes on Winx again in Saturday’s Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley.
Trainer Darren Weir had to search far and wide to secure a jockey for Humidor after regular rider Damian Lane was suspended for careless on Caulfield Cup Day last Saturday.
Weir’s other stable riders Brad Rawiller, John Allen, Ben Allen are also out through suspension which cleared the way for Shinn to snap up the ride on Humidor.
Weir also has been forced to tinker with Humidor’s race day gear after the five year old has been showing a tendency to lay in in his recent races.
Humidor’s wayward race manners has affected his recent results that saw him run third to Winx two starts back in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7 followed by a fifth to $51 outsider Boom Time in last Saturday’s Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
Shinn is happy to have picked up a Cox Plate ride on Humidor and is hoping the addition of blinkers will improve his racing manners and make him competitive against the mighty mare Winx who is zeroing in on her third successive Cox Plate win and her twenty-second win on the trot.
“He’s got blinkers on so hopefully that will assist with him laying-in a little bit but he’s obviously done that in a lot of his runs,” Shinn told racing.com.
“Darren Weir – he’s a master – so the blinkers on, hopefully that’s the ace up his sleeve with him that he needs to tackle the great mare.”
“He’s a really well-credentialed horse.”
“In the Caulfield Cup I thought his run was good. He was forward, which was not his normal pattern, but he stuck on well.
“It’s a horse race so anything can happen. We’ll be out there doing our best to win.
“If you take Winx out, he’s probably the best-credentialed horse in the race.”
The Chris Waller trained Winx dominates the betting for the Cox Plate at $1.16 with Ladbrokes.com.au while Humidor is a drifting $20 chance.
Humidor has drawn barrier eight in the nine horse Cox Plate field and his Weir trained stablemate Gailo Chop ($19) will jump from gate four with Mark Zahra to ride.
Leading Group 1 winning jockey Hugh Bowman will again be partnering Winx who drew just worst than midfield at barrier six.