Jockey Blake Shinn has been taken off Stronger (Not a Single Doubt-Star Pupil, by Starcraft) for Sunday’s Gr1 Centenary Sprint Cup over 1200m at Sha Tin after failing to attend the horse’s trial on Tuesday morning, reports scmp.com.
“It’s disappointing, you wouldn’t expect it any day let alone when a horse is having his final hit-out for a Gr1 race,” trainer Douglas Whyte said.
“If someone doesn’t show the interest or the respect once you’ve given them instructions – I spoke to Blake earlier in the morning and told him what I’d like him to do and was standing there holding the colours and no one arrived. Thank goodness my apprentice [Jerry Chau Chun-lok] was on hand or we would have had the horse scratched.”
Shinn had been at the trial meeting, riding in the second, third and fourth trials but went to the jockey’s room during Stronger’s event.
“I went to do my gear and I just lost my train of thought and forgot I had to trial him. Time got away from me,” Shinn said.
“I’m disappointed in myself and I know the importance of this weekend’s race. I pride myself on my professionalism and my work ethic and I understand the decision.”
Stronger will now be ridden by Tony Piccone, and it will be Piccone’s first Gr1 ride in Hong Kong. Stronger ran second at his last start in the Gr3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy over 1000m behind Explosive Witness (Star Witness-Rocket Baby, by Danzero)