Victorian filly Fenway caused an upset win in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill today by downing the odds on favourite First Seal.
In a twist of fate winning jockey Blake Shinn was dumped as the rider of the John Thompson trained First Seal and was snapped up to ride his family’s filly Fenway.
Fenway is co-trained by Shinn’s step father Lee Hope and step brother Shannon Hope and the win generated emotional scenes in the winner’s circle in the mounting enclosure.
Shannon Hope was on hand at Rosehill but Lee Hope remained at home to supervise their Kilmore team.
“The only other person I wish could be here is my step-dad, but unfortunately he had to stay and do the work back at Kilmore,” an emotional Shinn said.
“I sure he will be really chuffed. He has worked so hard for a result like this and so has Shannon and for me as a twenty-seven year old they have raised me to who I am today.”
“They have worked just as hard as I have. They are great trainers in their own right and this means so much to me. It’s a fairy tale to get the result for them.”
Shinn had been the regular rider for First Seal at her three runs this campaign but connections decided for a change of rider after the filly was beaten as favourite when second to Plucky Belle in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 14.
“It’s funny how things work out and my step dad said ‘don’t worry mate, she will be there right in the finish’. He was right,” Shinn said.
“It means the world to me to be able to do this for them.”
Shinn had Fenway travelling just behind the leaders while James McDonald on First Seal was happy to sit back in the field and wait for the last crack at the leaders.
Shinn made his move at the 300m and pushed Fenway ($21) to the front shortly after and was able to hold off the late challenge of First Seal ($1.80) to win by a neck with Thunder Lady ($51) making up a lot of ground in the straight to finish third.
Fenway and Thunder Lady are now likely to clash in the Group 1 $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 11 while First Seal is likely to drop back to the 1600m of the Group 1 $1m Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Randwick on the same day.