Leading Sydney jockey Blake Shinn is happy with his decision to partner Toydini instead of Group 1 winning mare Streama in the 2014 Canterbury Stakes at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Shinn has built a great association with Streama in the past six months and steered the Stratum mare to victory in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), but has elected to maintain the ride on Toydini in the Canterbury Stakes.
Toydini was narrowly denied a maiden win at Group 1 level in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and Shinn told Sky Racing HQ that he believes the four-year-old is ready to take the next step during his autumn preparation.
“Guy left the decision up to me and I just felt that the right decision was to go with Toydini at this point in time,” Shinn said.
“I’ve had a great association with the horse and I have to give him the opportunity to reach the top level.
“Streama is already there in my opinion and she has been very good to me, winning the George Main on her, but Toydini could go to another level this preparation.
“It is just not the right time to get off him in my opinion.”
Toydini was forced to carry the top weight of 60.5 kilograms in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) and finished eighth behind Terravista; with the son of Bernardini failing to muster speed in the early stages of the race.
Shinn is expecting a much improved performance from Toydini on Saturday and is hopeful that the Group 1 placegetter can maintain his excellent second-up record, which includes wins in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) and Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m).
“I felt that his run was very good under the circumstances,” Shinn said.
“He had 60 and a half kilos and he gave Terravista six and a half kilos in weight and it was an unsuitable distance.
“He was chasing the whole way and he kept closing to the line.
“He always improves into his second-up run and I expect him to run well.
“It might be a bit short for him, but I just hope to see a good performance from him.”
Shinn will not ride Streama or Appearance in the Canterbury Stakes this weekend, but has done plenty of work on both mares in the lead-up to the Group 1 event.
The Melbourne Cup winning jockey said he has been delighted with the way that both Streama and Appearance have worked this week and is confident that both will perform strongly throughout their 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaigns.
“I galloped Appearance at Kembla Grange and she is going really well,” Shinn said.
“Guy had a slight hiccup with her, that is why she didn’t run in the Chipping Norton, but she is back on her game and she felt absolutely sensational.
“She worked beautifully and she could be the knockout on Saturday.
“I worked Streama on Tuesday and I couldn’t be any happier with how she is training.
“She is in for a great preparation as well.”
Appearance ($6.50) is currently on the third line of 2014 Canterbury Stakes betting markets, while Streama ($17) and Toydini ($26) are both available at double figure odds.