The 2008 Melbourne Cup winning rider Blake Shinn showed he lost none of his skill at his first ride in 12 months aboard bolter Distillery at Sandown Lakeside today.
Though Distillery could only manage third placing behind Del Palio, the Shinn ride could not have been better.
Shinn had the Lee and Shannon Hope-trained galloper parked third on the fence soon after the start from barrier seven.
He extricated the five-year-old off the fence coming into the straight and hit the front at the 200m.
The Cindy and Colin Alderson-trained Del Palio wound up from last and flashed home to win running away with Valedictorian grabbing second in the Restricted 68-Hcp (1200m).
Shinn fans that backed Distillery eachway were amply rewarded when the $35 shot paid around $10 on all three totes.
The 24-year-old rider was suspended for 12 months after a string of gambling misdeeds were discovered by Sydney racing officialdom.
Under the Australian rules of racing, no jockey is allowed to bet on horses.
Jockey Peter Robl was also given 12 months for similar charges at the time.
Shinn admitted his gambling addiction and addressed it.
”I just wanted a low-key return with my family around me,” he said.
Shinn won the 2008 Melbourne Cup aboard Viewed for Cups king Bart Cummings.