Arabian Gold maintained her stellar wet-track record and gave Blake Shinn his 1000th career victory with an impressive win in the 2014 Adrian Knox Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Arabian Gold was forced to carry the top-weight of 59 kilograms in the Group 3 event and the race was not run to suit, but the Dubawi filly was still too strong for the rest of the Adrian Knox Stakes field and scored a comfortable win from a fast-finishing Missvonn and New Zealand-trained filly Lady Cumquat.
Trainer David Vandyke hadbeen patient with Arabian Gold this preparation and was thrilled with her effort in the Adrian Knox Stakes, but refused to confirm whether the three-year-old would press on to the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick next weekend.
“It wasn’t run to suit for her, she was out facing the breeze and a little bit closer than we wanted, but that was dominant.
“She is back, she trialed terrific last week and she is just starting to come good now.
“I couldn’t be happier; (owner) Nick Moraitis is a great client and it is always great to win for him.”
Shinn has had a number of highs and lows throughout his riding career, including a memorable Melbourne Cup win on Viewed in 2008 as well as a lengthy suspension for betting on races, and he was clearly thrilled to bring up the impressive milestone on one of the biggest days on the Australian racing calendar.
“It is very special,” Shinn said.
“It is not something that you set out to achieve, but it is something that I am pretty proud of.
“I have come a long way since I started and it bring backs a lot of memories.
“I have had a lot of people support me along the way and hopefully we can reach another milestone.
“I really think that I am just starting to develop as a rider and as a person; even though I am only 26 you never stop learning in this game and I think that my best is still to come.
“My best mate Pete (fellow jockey Peter Robl) is here today and I’ve got some great mates here to support me and it is great to do it on such a big day.”
Arabian Gold has been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick and remains a chance of contesting the $1 million staying event – especially if the Royal Randwick track is still affected by rain.