In-form jockey Blake Shinn has every confidence that Shooting To Win can match it with the older horses in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Shinn has been aboard Shooting To Win at his two runs this preparation when he was beaten as favourite both times against his own age but knows the three year old is ready to take on weight for age company for the first time.
“Saturday is a great race for him,” Shinn told Racenet.
“Third-up, 1500 and he gets his chance to sit off the speed which I’m sure will give him every chance to show what he’s made of.
“He’s working brilliantly and the three-year-olds are showing that they’re capable against the older horses this season.
“I’m hoping he draws well and I think he’s got the ability to match it with the older horses at weight-for-age. If the breaks go his way then I think he’s capable of winning.”
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Shooting To Win was able to win the 2014 Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield in the Spring with James McDonald in the saddle and Shinn is hoping to get back in the winner’s stall after the pair combined for a debut win in a 1200m Kembla Grange maiden in May 2014.
At his two recent efforts with Shinn aboard, Shooting To Win was sent out as the $3.60 favourite when fourth to Hallowed Crown in the Group 2 $200,000 Blackwoods CRC Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 21 and the punters stuck with him when third to Hallowed Crown again in the Group 1 $600,000 Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 7 as the $2.50 favourite.
Shinn knows the task ahead is not going to be easy taking on a host of Group 1 winners including Cosmic Endeavour, Criterion, Chris Waller’s Sacred Falls and Royal Descent as well as the well performed Japanese horses World Ace and Real Impact.
“The Japanese have been very successful bringing their horses to Australia and they adapt to our style of racing,” Shinn said.
“I’ve had a look at their form but until you watch them race here you just don’t know.”
“These are very well credentialed and you have to treat them with real respect.”
Cox Plate winner Adelaide is also nominated for the George Ryder Stakes but connections are leaning towards starting him first up in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
Shinn was out of luck at Rosehill last Saturday but rode a winning double for Gai Waterhouse the week before at Randwick on his Golden Slipper mount English in the Group 2 $300,000 Guinness Reisling Stakes (1200m) and on Nayeli in the Listed $125,000 Xirrus Fireball Stakes (1100m).